The basic quid pro quo contemplated by the Constitution and the congress for granting a patent monopoly is the benefit derived by the public from an invention with substantial utility. Specific benefit must exist in currently available form. Brenner v. Manson, 383 U.S. 519, 534, 535, 86 S.Ct. 1033, 1041, 1042, 16 L.Ed.2d 69.
By "useful" is meant such an invention as may be applied to some beneficial use in society, in contradistinction to an invention which is illegal, injurious to morals or against public policy
@ useful life
In accounting and taxation, the period of time for which an asset is capable of being used for the production of income. For income tax purposes, the "useful life" of depreciable property is period over which asset may reasonably be expected to be useful to taxpayer in his trade or business or in production of income, and such is necessarily an estimate made at time when property is first put to use. Cohn v. U. S., C.A.Tenn., 259 F.2d 371, 377.
Useful life for depreciation purposes is an estimate; length of the useful period must be shown by evidence that allows it to be estimated with reasonable accuracy. Richard S. Miller & Sons, Inc. v. U. S., Ct.Cl., 537 F.2d 446, 455.
The term "depreciable life," as used in general excise tax law, is synonymous with the term "useful life" as used for purpose of the depreciation deduction under income tax law. Matter of 711 Motors, Inc., 56 Hawaii 644, 547 P.2d 1343, 1347
@ usefulness
Capabilities for use. The word pertains to the future as well as to the past

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

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