KENNEDY V. HAZI,ETON.
bricks are ordinarily laid.
The Steele patent approaches8omewhatnearer
to the invention claimed by the Schillinger patent, but it cannot be said
that it anticipated the Schillinger patent. Steele simply laid strips of wood diagonally across the 'bed or foundation prepared for the concrete, and spread the concrete in one continuous mass over the strips of wood, so as to imbed them therein. Itdoes not appear, however, that he cantemplatedforming blocks or sections of concrete, with joints extending frbm the foundation to the surface, in the manner adopted by Schillinger. The result of my investigation is that none of the defenses interposed ,by the defendant have been established. A decree will accordingly be entered in favor of the plaintiff, as prayed for in the' bill.
(Oircuit Oourt, N,' D. Illinois. January 8, 1888.)
PATENTS FOR INVENTIONS-CONTRACT TO ASSIGN SUE TO OTHER THAN INVENTOR. SPECIFIC PERFORMANcE-Is'
A bill to compel the specific performance to assign any patent which defendant might obtain for a certain invention charged that defendant, in order to evade his contract, had obtained the issue to a third party of a patent for an invention of which the defendant was the real inventor. Held,ondemtlTrer, that, conceding the facts charged, the patent would be void, and specific performance of a contract to enforce the same would not be decreed.
Bill for specific performance. Banni'fl,g &- Banning, for complainant. West &' Bond, for defendant.
Demurrer to bill.
BLODGETT,J., (orally.) The hill in this case charges that on the tenth of July, 1884, the complaipant entered into a contract with the defendant, Milton W. Hazleton, by which the latter agreed to assign to the complainant any and all patents which he might thereafter obtain from the United States or the dominion of Canada for certain inventions referring to steam-boilers. The bill then avers that shortly after the making of this contract Hazleton announced that he had in his mind an invention for the improvement of steam-boilers; explained some of the features of it to persons with whom he talked on the subject; and said that he should call it the "Tripod Boiler;" stating the general features of the new device, and especially that he was to divide the stand-pipe into two or three hollow parts, or water-legs, extending through brick-work. The bill then further avers that Hazleton afterwards formed the acquaintance of one Henry 0.. Gonlding, and combined and confederated 'with him to avoid the effect of the contract with complainant heretofore mentioned; and caused tqlle prepared at his (Hazleton's) own expense, but in the name of Goulding, the necessary papers for the procurement ofletters pat-
the United States for .the said, inveritionsomade ,Knownby him hand denominated the "Tripod:BdiIerl" and that Gonlding,: :for the purofenabling Hazleton to avoidJ1J;issaid contract with complainant, and . without any consideration.reeeived from Hazleton therefor, did assent to , the use of his name on the record as the alleged inventor ofsaid improvement; and thereupon acting at the request and by the procurement of Hazleton, filed an 'application, on April 10, 1886; in the patentoffice,' and such proceedings were had on the application as that on December 14, 1886, letters 'patent:.c:if the United No. 849,039; for " the "'l'ripod' Boiler," 'were issued to the .said Hazleton'. as assignee of the said Henry C. Gqnlding·.. ,The Qill then further avers that Hazleton, on receiving this patent as the assignee of Gonlding, the pretended inventor, proceeded to put the invention in use, and has made large profits by the use of this invention, and is continuing to enjoy the fruits of said invention, contrary to his said agreement with complainant, and refuses to assign the same to complainantj and the prayer of the bill is that Hazleton be compelled by tHe 'decree of this court to specifically perform the which he made with complainant, and. ,to assign to the complainant the patent in question, which is still by Hazleton; and fIlso that an aQcounting be had of profits made .by Hazleton by the use of said patented device, and that he' be compelled to pay such profits to the complainant. The defendant demurs to the bill, and relies UpOJ1two grounds for his said demurrer: Firat,that the bill is multifarious in that it seeks not only a specific performance oitha contract, but also seeks an accounting for the profits which have been made by Hazleton from the use of thepatentj secondly, that by the showing of the bill itself the complainant is entitled to no relief, because, if the statemehts in the bill are true,-:'and they must be taken as true for the ,purposes of this demurrer,-the patent issued to Gonlding is void, inasmuch as there can be no patent issued except to the inventor of the device covered by it. The latter ground I propose to consider first. The bill charges that Hazleton was the real inventor of the device covered by this patent; that. for the purpose of evading his contract with the complainant, he entered into a conspiracy with Gonlding, by· which the latter, falsely pretending to be the inventor, filed his application for a patent, and took such steps as that the patent was issued upon such applicatIon, when in fact Hazleton was the inventor of thedevioe. There can be no doubt, I think, on 'the assumption that the statements in the bill are true, that this patCntis ,void in the hands of HaZleton at the present time, and would be void in the hands of complainant. The patent was obtained by fraudulent statements made by Gonlding that he was the inventor, and, as Gonlding could take nothing by his false and fraudulent statements, so Hazleton took nothing by the assignment ofthis void patent from Gonlding: And if this court sliowld grant the prayer ofthis bill, and decree anassignmeilt of this pabnt to complainant,the court would put complainant in a position to impose upon the public by a fraudulent and void patent, as, according to the bill, HaZleton has been doing.
It is urged that it does not lie iIi the mouth of Hazleton to object that his patent is vQid, so long as he has by his own acts given it currency, and dealt with it as valid; and there might be some force in this point if the bill did not show that the patent is totally valueless, and void ab initio, for the fraudulent practices by which its issue was obtained, so that a court of equity would abuse its high character and prerogative by treating this patent as property. It would be as consistent f()r the court to compel the conveyance of lands which a party held, or pretended to hold, under a forged deed, when the party seeking to compel such conveyance knew of the forgery. This objection to the bill seems to me so unanswerable that I do not deem it necessary to discuss the question of multifari.ousnessmadeby the demurrer. The demurrer is sustained and the bill dismissed.
('District Court; D.Maaaachuldt..'December 15, 1887.)
WHARVES-DUTY 011' DOCK OWNERS LIABILiTY FOR NEGLIGENCE. ; ,
The owner of a dock is bound to use reasonable care to keep the dock in such a condition as to be reasonably safe for vessels which enter it UpOD his invit!\tion, express or implied; and he is liable for injuries to vessels caused by ony defect therein. whicli by the exercise of ordinary care would· have been known to h11J!, or which .h.e negligently permitted to exist; following ·TkB John L Berkman" 6 Fed. Rep. 585.
This was an action brought by Aaron S.Higgins et ownerS of the schooner Calvin P.Harris, for injuries sustained by the schooner while Company. . entering a dock belonging to the Lynn E. 8. Dodge, for libelants. J. B. Richar(1son and W. Niles, for respondents.
NELSON, J. The Lynn Gas-Light Company is the owner of a private wharf:and dock in the harbor of Lynn; the upper or shore end of the wharf being used by the company as a coal wharf. The approach to the coal .wharf for wessels is bya dredged channel extending across the flats, and by the dock above mentioned dredged out along the easterly side of the wharf. The schooner Calvin P. Harris, from Philadelphia, arrived at the outal: end of the wharf. on the morning ofseventh of September, 1885, having on board a cargo of 645 tons of coal owned by the com" pany, which, by direction of the company's agent,. was to be unloaded on the ooal wharf. The schooner's draft of water. was ·13 feet and 9· inches. At 11 o'clock A. M., or at high water, she hauled into the dock. to get to her discharging berth at the coal wharfj but before reaching it!