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[ARCHAIC SCIENCE] Jacobs v. Baker (74 U.S. 295, 1868)

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[ARCHAIC SCIENCE] {1} Now a jail can hardly come under the denomination of "a machine," nor, though made by hands, can it well be classed with "manufactures;" nor, although compounded of matter, can it be termed a "composition of matter," in the meaning of the patent act. ... But waiving all these difficulties as hypercritical, and assuming the correctness of the positions taken, that whatever is neither a machine, nor a manufacture, nor a composition of matter, must (ex necessitate) be "an art;" that a jail is a thing "made;" and that the patent is for the "process of making it," let us examine the case as presented by the bill and answer.

[ARCHAIC SCIENCE] The inventor, Jacobs, had four patents on new architectural structures for jails (secret passages). The Supreme Court struggled to figure out what statutory subject matter architectural objects such as jails fit in. And 150 years ago, it was very reasonable to not consider architectural objects as articles of "manufacture" (beyond hand-assembly, as the Court noted). But, 150 years later, architectural objects have become, almost practically, articles of manufacture, thanks to large-scale 3D printers. For example, there is the news story, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/08/3d-printed-houses_n_5773408.html. The Supreme Court's reasoning in this case no longer has any basis in science or engineering, and no longer should be a precedent for any decision.

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