Bullard Co. v. General Electric Co., 348 F.2d 985, 146 U.S.P.Q. (BNA) 141 (4th Cir. 1965) (full-text).
Appellate Court Proceedings Edit
The claims measure the invention. The claims, however, must be construed in light of the specification, which is protective only to the point that it gives such full, clear, concise and exact terms as to enable any person of ordinary skill in the art to which it pertains to make and use the invention.
Combination claims for devices for the regulation of machine tool operations were ruled not infringed, since a combination patent covers only the totality of elements in the claims, and no element, separately viewed, is within the patent grant. Using this line of reasoning, the court held that a punched tape was not "equivalent" to an arrangement of mechanical cams performing the same function.