properly vested in the Racine Seeder Company, and that company's title made a matter of record in the patent-office nearly two years before the complainant in the cross-bill obtained its conveyance from Strawbridge. I come now to consider the question of the title of the complainant in the cross-bill as the assignee of the Hartwell contract with the consent of Strawbridge. Bya decree of a competent court the Hartwell assignment to the Dee Moines Manufacturing Company has been set aside, and he has been rehabilitated with the ownership of the contract, and this court cannot review that decree; but the Racine Seeder Company was not a party to the decree, and is not bound by it. Without discussing the question as to whether the contract between Strowbridge and Hartwell is a power of attorney coupled with an interest, and therefore not revocable except for some of the reasons provided for in Jhe instrument itself, I am very clear that the contract, both as a power to sell and as a license, is a merely personal one, and not transferable by Hartwell except "with the consent of Strawbridge. Curt. Pat. § 198; Brooks v. Byam, 2 Story, 545; Consolidated Fruit Jar Co. v. Whitney, 1 Ban. & A. 356. In view, then, of the nature of this contract, I am quite clear that when Strowbridge parted with his title to the subject-matter of the contract he parted with all right to sanction or vivify the assignment, or transfer of it from Hartwell to anyone else; and conceding for the argument that the contract remained in force. and that the sale of the patent from Strawbridge to Dorr did not work a revoC<1tion of it, Hartwell could not sell territorial or shop rights, nor assign the right to manufacture, without the consent of the owner of the patent; and holding, as I do, that Strowbridge's deed to Dorr was operative to the title in the patent to Dorr, and that the deed from Dorr to the seeder company placed the title in the seeder company, it follows that no transfer of the contract by Hartwell was valid without the consent of the seeder company. Much of the testimony and discussion has related to the charge that Dorr was guilty of bad faith towards the Des Moines Manufacturing Company, and towards Hartwell and Mitchell, his associates in that company, in organizing the Racine Seeder Company, and transferring to it the business of the Des M0ines Company and the Strowbridge patent; but these are questions which I deem wholly foreign to this case, and only proper to be considered in a suit by the Des Moines Company against Dorr or the Racine Company. If Dorl' wronged the Des Moines Manufacturing Company or his associates, Hartwell and Mitchell, that wrong cannot aid the title which the Joliet Company now asserts by its cross-bill against the Racine Company. The Joliet Wire-check Rower Company must stand upon the title it got by the deed from Strawbridge and the assignment of the Hartwell contract, and as Strawbridge had no title when be made the deed to
CONSOLIDATED FRUIT JAR CO. V. BELLAIRE STAMPING CO.
that company, and the transfer of the Hartwell contract is not approved or assented to by the Racine Company, it follows that the complainant in the cross-bill took no title from either of these sources. A decree will be entered dismissing the cross-bill for want of equity; and dismissing so much of the original bill as relates to the Floyd patent without prejudice; and finding underthe original bill that the Strowbridge patent is valid, and the title thereto is in the complainant; and that the defendant, the Joliet Wire-check Rower Company, has infringed the same; and that complainant is entitled to an· account· ing for profits and damages.
CONSOLIDATED FRUIT JAR Co.
BELLAIRE STAMPING Co.
(Oircuit Oourt, 8. D. Ohio, E. D. April 13, 1886.)
PATENTS FOR INvENTIONS-ABANDONMENT.
The patent granted to William Taylor and Charles Hodgetts, No. 117,236, dated July 18, 1871, for improvement in caps for preserve jars, is invalid and void.
Taylor & Hodgetts filed their application March 26, 1856. It was rejected, on references, April 16, 1856, and withdrawn April 22, 1856. On March 30, 1869, a patent was granted to Boyd for substantially the same invention. On January 7, 1871, Cozzens, the attorney of Boyd, filed a request in the name of Taylor & Hodgetts, but without their authority, to renew the application under the. provisions of section 35 of the patent act of July 8, 1870. In June, 1871, Boyd purchased Taylor & Hodgetts' rights in the invention and application, and obtained from them a ratification of Cozzens' attempted renewal, after which he paid the renewal fee, filed an amended specifi( ation, and had the patent issued. Taylor & Hodgetts made no effort to renew or prosecute the application between their withdrawal on April 22, 1856, and the filing of the renewed application in 1871. There was evidence that they had given up the invention, and ceased to use it, or take any further interest in it, as early as about 1862; and that they were men of means, engaged in the business of manufacturing fruit cans. Held, (1) that they had abandoned the invention; (2) that the renewal was without authority, and that its subsequent ratification could not validate it; (3) that their abandonment was not in favor of Boyd, the intervening patentee, but in favor of the public; (4) that Boyd could not, by acquiring an assignment from them, reclaim the invention from the public. Where an application for a patent has been fil"d and withdrawn, lapse of time, whether it be alone conclusive of abandonment or not, is nevertheless a fact which may give great point and force to testimony disclosing what was done in the interval.
SAME-LAPSE OF TIME.
SAME-INTEREST OF PUBLIC-EsTOPPEL.
In cases of abandonment or reissue, under the patent laws, the matter is not to be likened to chattels personal, the ownership of which may be abandoned and afterwards resumed; for there is always, in patent cases, a public equity which must ,lot be disregarded. In such cases the equitable estoppel which arises, where other rights in the mean time intervene, is not in favor of the intervenor alone, but he is regarded by the courts as the representative flf the public, and therefore whatever rights he gains the public gains
C. C:urlit:::, 'for complainant.
Causten Brown, William C. Witter, William H. Kenyon, and A.