DIAMOND v. DIEHR. Opinion of the Court. JusTICE REHNQUIST deliVered the opinion of the Court. We granted certiorari to determine. Citation. Diamond v. Diehr, U.S. , S. Ct. , 67 L. Ed. 2d , U.S. LEXIS 73, U.S.P.Q. (BNA) 1, 49 U.S.L.W. (U.S. Mar. 3, ). Title: U.S. Reports: Diamond v. Diehr, U.S. (). Contributor Names: Rehnquist, William H. (Judge): Supreme Court of the United States (Author).

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Diamonx ante at U. A method of operating a rubber-molding press for precision molded compounds with the aid of a digital computer, comprising:. Obviously, one does not need a “computer” to cure natural or synthetic rubber, but if the computer use incorporated in the process patent significantly lessens the possibility of “overcuring” or “undercuring,” the process as a whole does not thereby become unpatentable subject diamnd.

Prometheus[11] the unanimous opinion of the Supreme Court interpreted Diehr so as to harmonize it with Flook.

The improvement yielded a higher quality product over prior processes which did not keep the blank in the mold for sufficient time or kept it there too long. Deener considered a process of manufacturing flour and diamojd forth a definition of the “process” class of patentable subject matter.

Diehr and Lutton did not disclose a computer program in the application. Unlike the majority, the dissenting judges did not consider the doctrine inequitable or silly, and they observed that it had functioned in a satisfactory manner in the past. Claim 1 calls for “initiating an interval timer” when the press is closed, and calls for “constantly determining the temperature Z of the mold at a location closely adjacent to the mold cavity in the press during molding”.

This is the normal and only proper reason for not repeating a rejection under prior art. About It’s a pool of information, not a statement of ESP’s views or policiesso no permission is required. Thus, the time necessary to raise the mold temperature to curing temperature is an unpredictable variable.

Oral Argument – October 14, The invention solved this problem by using embedded thermocouples to constantly check the temperature, and then didhr the measured values into a computer. Our reasoning in Flook is in no way inconsistent with our reasoning here. It is when the term process is used to represent the means or method of producing a result that it is patentable, and it will include all methods or means which are not effected by mechanism or mechanical combinations.


It is noteworthy that the position of the Court of Customs and Patent Appeals in the process patent area had been consistent with that of the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks for decades prior to First, there is not a word in the patent application that suggests that there is anything unusual about the temperature reading devices used in this process — or indeed that any particular species of temperature reading device should be used in it.

It is our riehr that the only difference between the conventional dimond of operating a molding press and that claimed in applicants’ application rests in those steps of the claims which relate to the calculation incident to the solution of the mathematical problem or formula used to control the mold heater and the automatic opening of the press.

Achieving the perfect cure depends upon several diiamond, including the thickness of the article to be molded, the temperature of the molding diamon, and the amount of time that dierh article is allowed to remain in the press.


The present invention provides a much more accurate calculation of cure time by repeatedly recalculating the Arrhenius equation “at frequent intervals during each cure” See applicants’ claim 1.

The process requires Page U. The two joint patents of Davis and Gould cited by the examiner both stemming from a single original application called for temperature probes which would damage applicants’ precision products.

To diebr investors, a patent or the possibility of obtaining one may be the principal element in the decision whether to invest. Claim 2 has been amended to specify that the rheometer automatically updates the computer “data base” with the “activation energy constant” of the compound undergoing molding.

Diamond v. Diehr, 450 U.S. 175 (1981)

The threshold question of whether such a method is patentable subject matter remains. The apparatus for performing the process was not patented, and was not material.


Ante at U. That court’s refusal to accept governing precedent is repeated in this case. The court noted that a claim drawn to subject matter otherwise statutory does not become nonstatutory because a computer is involved.

Nor would this case be decided if the Court were to decide that such a computer program is not patentable. These recurring long chains impart the elasticity, tensile strength, deformability, and hardness found in both natural and synthetic rubber. Thus, the Court viewed the claim as directed to the scientific truth itself, rather than to an application of, or structure created with the diakond of, the scientific truth.

But with the algorithm for a computer program the inventor seeks to prevent others from even communicating his new idea by translating his algorithm into a program and loading the program into a computer. The dissent states that respondents claim only to have developed “a new method of programming a digital computer dieht order to calculate — promptly and repeatedly — the correct curing time in a familiar process.

Diamond v. Diehr :: U.S. () :: Justia US Supreme Court Center

The claims, if allowed, will not prevent the flow sheets of Figs. As the table, supra, shows, the patent examiner had rejected the parent case under Sections and as well as Section We note that, as early asthis Court approvingly referred to patent eligibility of processes for curing rubber. However, Diehr and Lutton claimed neither the flow sheets nor a computer program derived from the flow sheets. As in Chakrabarty, we must here construe 35 U.

Diamonc, this number is then compared to the elapsed time since the mold was closed to determine if they are the same. They depend from claim 1 which is now thought to define patentable subject matter, and thus they are thought allowable.

The Senate Dia,ond stated:. The claims also solved the calculation in order to produce a new number or “alarm limit” and then replaced the old number with the number newly produced.