We are currently developing a new site to host the Patent Manual of Practice and Procedure. The BETA version of this site is now available for you to review. The information and content displayed in the BETA site is only available for testing purposes. Do not use or reference the information in the BETA site when making any decisions or actions regarding IP rights. New Use of an Old Contrivance

Date Published

The law on new use of old contrivances is set down in Gadd & Mason v The Mayor etc. of Manchester (1892) 9 RPC 516 (1892) 9 RPC 516 at page 524, and was adopted by the High Court of Australia in Willmann v Petersen 2 CLR 1 at page 17. In the former case, Lindley LJ stated:

"1. A patent for the mere use of a known contrivance, without any additional ingenuity in overcoming fresh difficulties, is bad and cannot be supported. If the new use involved no ingenuity but is in manner and purpose analogous to the old use, although not quite the same, there is no invention; no manner of new manufacture within the meaning of the Statute of James. 2. On the other hand a patent for a new use of a known contrivance is good and can be supported if the new use involves practical difficulties which the patentee has been first to see and overcome by some ingenuity of his own."

See also Schwer v Fulham & Robinson 11 CLR 249 and Lister's Application (1966) RPC 30.

Back to top