No. 71-485.

409 U.S. 63 (1972)


Supreme Court of United States.

Decided November 20, 1972.

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Richard B. Stone argued the cause for petitioner. With him on the briefs were Solicitor General Griswold, Assistant Attorney General Kauper, Acting Assistant Attorney General Comegys, Howard E. Shapiro, Richard H. Stern, and S. William Cochran.

Hugh B. Cox argued the cause for respondents. With him on the brief were Henry P. Sailer, Michael Boudin, William L. Keefauver, and Robert O. Nimtz.

Briefs of amici curiae urging reversal were filed by James M. Clabault and Edward G. Fiorito for Burroughs Corp.; by Henry L. Hanson and D. D. Allegretti for Honeywell, Inc.; by Lloyd N. Cutler, Ezekiel G. Stoddard, Deanne C. Siemer, Nicholas DeB. Katzenbach, and Elmer W. Galbi for International Business Machines Corp.; and by Donald J. Gavin for the Business Equipment Manufacturers Assn.

Briefs of amici curiae urging affirmance were filed by Sidney Neuman, Tom Arnold, and Jack C. Goldstein for the American Patent Law Assn.; by Claron N. White and Louis Robertson for the Chicago Bar Assn.; by James J. Hill and William E. Dominick for the Patent Law Association of Chicago; by Timothy L. Tilton for Iowa State University Research Foundation, Inc.; by Michael I. Rackman for Institutional Networks Corp.; by David J. Toomey for Whitlow Computer Systems, Inc.; by Virgil E. Woodcock, Richard E. Kurtz, and Oswald G. Hayes for Mobil Oil Corp.; by Morton C. Jacobs for the Association of Data Processing Service Organizations et al.; by Mr. Jacobs for Applied Data Research, Inc.; and by Howard J. Marsh for Computer Software Analysts, Inc., et al.

MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS delivered the opinion of the Court.

Respondents filed in the Patent Office an application for an invention which was described as being related "to the processing of data by program and more particularly to the programmed conversion of numerical information" in general-purpose digital computers. They claimed a method for converting binary-coded decimal (BCD) numerals into pure binary numerals. The claims were not limited to any particular art or...

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