This post was first published on 16th July, 2014.
Today’s special is the case that has set a high precedent in US Patent Law practice, acquiring the status of the highest cited case in subsequent cases decided by several courts, especially the CAFC. Graham vs. John Deere Co. is cited extensively since it clarifies the judicial standing on the requirement of non-obviousness of an invention. William T Graham (Graham) sued John Deere Co. (Deere) for patent infringement.
Details: Graham invented a new shock absorber to add to tractors, essentially a device designed to absorb shock from the shanks of chisel plows as they plowed through rocky soil and thus prevented damage to the plow. Graham obtained a patent (US Patent 2,493,811) on this device.
Shortly thereafter, Graham made an improvement on this device and applied and obtained a patent (US Patent 2,627,798) for the improvement. Only 2 differences existed between the two patents, them being: the stirrup and the bolted connection of the shank to the hinge plate did not appear in 2,493,811 and the position of the shank was reversed, being placed in 2,493,811 above the hinge plate, sandwiched between it and the upper plate.