aggregation.Patents. 1. A set of parts that do not cooperate in structure or function, and are
therefore unpatentable as an invention; the opposite of a combination. [Cases: Patents 25. C.J.S.
Patents § 86.] 2.Hist. A patent examiner’s label for a claimed invention that may or may not be a
patentable combination but whose claims do not clearly explain how the parts cooperate to
produce a new or unexpected result. • As a term of art, aggregation lost its usefulness when it was
replaced by a statutory test in § 103 of the Patent Act of 1952. — Also termed juxtaposition. Cf.
“I think of a football team as a combination; one passes, one receives, another runs, and still
others hold the line. Eleven men are doing different things, each in his own way, and not always
simultaneously; yet they are working to a common end, to advance the ball; and they coact as a
unit. I think of a track team as an aggregation; one runs, another hurdles, another jumps, another
throws. They all work for a common general end, to amass points for their alma mater; but there is
lacking the vital spark of cooperation or coordination. They work, not as one unit, but as several.”
Skinner v. Oil, 54 F.2d 896, 898–99 (10th Cir. 1931).
“The mere combining of old machine parts, each operating in the old way and accomplishing
the old result, is an aggregation, and hence unpatentable; whereas, if a new result be produced by
the joint action of the elements, and if such a result be not the mere adding together of the
contributions of the separate elements, then there exists a patentable combination.” Roger
Sherman Hoar, Patent Tactics and the Law 38 (3d ed. 1950). [Blacks Law 8th]