2144.07 Art Recognized Suitability for an Intended Purpose [R-08.2012]

The selection of a known material based on its suitability for its intended use supported a prima facie obviousness determination in Sinclair & Carroll Co. v.Interchemical Corp., 325 U.S. 327, 65 USPQ 297 (1945) (Claims to a printing ink comprising a solvent having the vapor pressure characteristics of butyl carbitol so that the ink would not dry at room temperature but would dry quickly upon heating were held invalid over a reference teaching a printing ink made with a different solvent that was nonvolatile at room temperature but highly volatile when heated in view of an article which taught the desired boiling point and vapor pressure characteristics of a solvent for printing inks and a catalog teaching the boiling point and vapor pressure characteristics of butyl carbitol. “Reading a list and selecting a known compound to meet known requirements is no more ingenious than selecting the last piece to put in the last opening in a jig-saw puzzle.” 325 U.S. at 335, 65 USPQ at 301.).

See also In reLeshin, 277 F.2d 197, 125 USPQ 416 (CCPA 1960) (selection of a known plastic to make a container of a type made of plastics prior to the invention was held to be obvious); Ryco, Inc.v.Ag-Bag Corp., 857 F.2d 1418, 8 USPQ2d 1323 (Fed. Cir. 1988) (Claimed agricultural bagging machine, which differed from a prior art machine only in that the brake means were hydraulically operated rather than mechanically operated, was held to be obvious over the prior art machine in view of references which disclosed hydraulic brakes for performing the same function, albeit in a different environment.).