FEDE;Jt4L 'REPORTER. YO!.
WOODHOUSE et ale
(Circuit Oourt, S. D,' NeiJJ'York. December lS, 1889.)
PATENTS J'OR INVENTIONS-INFRINGEMEiNT-;-BELT-FASTENERS. '
Claim 2 of letters patent No. 282,258,.issued July 3, 1883, to' Henry Blake, is for "a belt stud having cross-heads and ab.r, or shank f1attenelj. approximately at right angles to saidheads and bent near its end, so that said heads lie flat upon the belt... This 'device was .meant to be an improvement over the G. W. Blake stud, covered byletters patent No. 81,859, which punched out of sheet metal, and the ,actual improvement consistEld(l) uta stronger shank, the strength being .imparted by sw:aging or by flattening. aJld, \3Ompr,essing in. some way; and (2) in, a s\lW),k curved at the ends. Held, that theqla.im was not infringed by a stud which was made by punching alone, and which' has received no other flattening than such 81 is naturally produced by the punching process.
, In Equity.
Benj. F. Lee and W. H.. L. for complainants. Antonio Knauth and Arthur von Briesen, for defendants.
SHIPMA.N, J. This is a bill in equity, based upon the alleged infringement of the second claim ofletters patent No. 282,258, dated July 3, 1883, to Henry Blake, fClt a belt-fastener, for fastening together the 'meeting ends of leathet belting. ,'The state of the a,rt,at the date of invention was as follows: The belt-fastener commonly in use was patented to G. W. Blake, by letters patent No. 31,859, and consisted of a straight bar, terminating at each 'end in a cross-piece at right angles to the shank. When the meeting ends of the belt were brought together, back to back, the fastener was inserted throngh a slit in each belt, and the cross-pieces were turned at right angles to the slits. The belt was then flattened out and the fastener 'was necessarily bent into a V shape. One of the defects of this fastener was that the heads of the cross-pieces caught and injured the hands of the workmen, when they had occasion to shift the belt. The D. M. Weston patent, No. 76,861, endeavored to remedy this defect by rounding off or beveling the head, which was also $waged so as to harden it; the straight shank being left malleable. The Henry Blake fastener was designed to obviate the disadvantage of the G. W. Blake stud, and is thus described in the specification of the patent: .· The weakness of the old stud is fou:nd to be in the shank or bar. which is liable to be strained in the bending iucident to applying the stud to a belt In the improved stud, this weakness is removed byswagingthe bar,or shank. be done on two or on all fOU,r aides of the bar or shank; and the result is to or harden the metal. and to flatten the bar or shank, preferably, in a plane at'rlght'angles to the heads. 'fhis shape is prefelTed because it brings the ,thiCkness of the bar Of shank in the direction of the hend given to it in applying the,stud to a belt; and, moreover, the flattening of the shank occs.1\ less disPlacement of the leather of the belt, thereby avoiding weakening thereof at the joint. Heretofore, the studs being bent after their applicationto thebelt, and the heads being in the same plane with the bar or shank, the said heads project their full length above the surface of the belt, often occasioning their breakage, or checking the running of the pulleys. should they strike any fixed object, and sometimes injuring tht! workmen when, as is not uncommon, the belt is slJifted by hand. In the improved stud the shank or
bar is slightly curved downward in the coutse ()f manufacture, when the bending cap be done with much less liability to straining the metal than when it is performed after being placed in th" belt; and the heads of the stud are bent down ward, so that ,their under surface Will lie flat upon the belt. instead of projecting above it; and a smooth and even joint be made. The studs, comprising a bar. a, and heads, b. having been formed by stamping or cutting from aahaet of metal, or otherwise, the bar or shank is hardened or stiffened by swaging; giving to said bar or shank the final shape shown.in Fig. I, or that shown in Fig, 2. As has been said, the former shape is deemed preferable, because not only does the bar possess the additional strength imparted by swaging, but, with the same weight of metal, the thickness of the stud is brought in the direction necessary to resist the strain of bending. In addition to this. by reason of the narrowness of the shank or bar, there is less strain' upon the leather of the belt. Instead of, as heretofore, having the heads in the same line with the bar or shank, the latter is curved downw!1rd in the middle, and also bent slightly at the ends, (see Fig. 3.) so as to bring the under surface of the heads about in line with the top of the bar. The object is to make a smoother joint,by causing the heads to lie flat upon the belt as shown in Fig. 4. The previous bending of the stud to appl'oxlmately the shape it will have when in use is very advantageous, because it can be done gradually, and with equal pressure upon all parts by meaDS of die, and with, much less liability of straining the metal. The article, when completed, pos-, sesses greater strength and durability than the old studs, and makes a joint. with little or no unevenness, and no projecting edges." The claims are as follows: "(1) A belt stud having T heads and a bar orshank flattened approximately at right angles to said heads; said bar or shank being compressed byswagiBg, substantially as described. (2) A Itelt stud having cross-heads and a bar or, shank flattened at right angles to said heads, and bent. near its end, so that said heads lie flat upon the belt, substantially as described." In Henry Blake's original application for a patent, he asked for the following claims: ' .. (1) A belt stud of the character described, havIng the bar or shank swaged, SUbstantially as described. (2) A belt stud character described, having a t1at shank or bar swaged so as to flatten it in a plane at right angles to tqe heads of the stUd. substantially lj.S. described. (3) A. belt stud having the bar and the ends bent so that the heads of the stud willUe flat upon the belt, substantially as described.". The descriptive part of the specification contained in his applicatiOIi differed from that portion as allowed, principally, in saying that the results of the swaging was to "flatten the bar or shank either in .the same plane with the heads or in a plane at right angles thereto," while in the patent it is said that the shank is flattened, "preferably, in a plane at right angles to the heads." The primary examiner rejected the claims because he said that "the only novelty in the case consists in a fastener with the body or shank in a vertical plane, and the T heads in ahorizontal plane, or, in other words, having the heads and body at right angles with each other." Thereupon, and as the result of an oral interview between the examiner and the applicant's counsel, the application was amended by inserting the two claims which now appear in the patent in place of the claims which were originally applied for. The G. W.
fastener was punched out of a sheet of brass, without additional ihg. The Henry Blake fasteners were punched, and then swaged between two opposing surfaces. The defendants' fasteners are made by punching alone, the brass being forced by the blow of the punch through the central curved aperture of the die, the aperture being of the same shape as the curved or bent fastener. The defendants' and the complainants' fasteners have substantially the same bent or curved shape in the shank, and the same bend towards the ends. ,The only question in the case is whether the defendants' fasteners are flattened at right angles to the heads, in the sense in which that expres- . sion is used in the patent. I shall assume that, if there is any flattening in the defendants' shanks, it may fairly bE" considered to be at right angles to the heads, because, whatever flattening exists was produced by tre metals being driven through a curved die, and the flattening is at the siqes as weHas at the top and bottom; and I do not now deem it neces88,ry to inquire whether the flattening must be only in a vertical plane. It is contended by the learned expert for the complaint that the shanks of the defendants' fasteners have a "fish-bellied" shape at the center of the shank; that they are stronger; and that careful measurements snow that they are thicker at the center than at the ends. Sur,h measurements do show that the shanks are somewhat thicker at the center than at the angles at each end, whtlre the cross-heads join the shank; and, although I have been in some doubt whether the thickening at the center was produ"Ced by a flattening process, or whether the thinness of ends was produced by the operation of bending, I coincide with the belief or explanation of the expert that the thickness at the center wae caused by flattening, because the natural effect of driving the metal through the die is to compress it. This C9nclusion is not, however, decisive of the case, because, in my opihion, the patent intended to ,deIlcribe the fastener whichl':as flatteneq, not simply as an incident to the punching, which would be, so far as the flattening was concerned, the G. W. Blake stud, but was flattened by some positive means in addition to -. that which was used in the punching process. The G. W. Blake fastwas simply driven bya punch through the. die, and had all the compression and flattening on either side which could be derived from that operation; and, undoubtedly, the tendency of the punch is to flatten and Sl].ueeze all sides of the metal as it is forced through the die. The actual improvement in the Henry Blake stud consisted.-.Rrst, in a stronger shank, the strength being imparted by swaging, or by flattening and compressing it in some way;' and, second, in a shank curved at the ends, so that the heads would lie flat upon the belt. To obtain the improved strength the fasteners, after having been punched out, were swaged. The weakness was obviated by an additional Rwaging operation. It cannot be successfully claimed that the defendants' studs, which are made by punching alone, and which can have received no other flattening than such as is naturally produced by the punching process, are the flattened fasteners of the Henry Blake patent, which declared itself to be an improvement,upon it!:! predecessor mainly because additional strength waR
GILLINGHAM tr. CHARLESTON TOW-BOAT &: TRANSP;
imparted to the shank by toughening and hardening it after it had been punched out. The second claim of the patent permits this additional strength to be imparted by flattening, rather than by swaging; but it cannot be that the proper interpretation of the patent includes a punched stud, .not otherwise flattened, which has been curved by the use of a curved die. The bill is dismissed.
GILLINGHAM tr. CHARLESTON Tow-BOAT
Oourt, D. South Oarolina. December 17,1889.)
Where the master of a tug is a member of the corporation that owns ber and . is present' at the meeting of stockholders when she is put out of commission. and tied up, and he does not dissent, it appears that neither he nor the other corporators expected him Wbe paid during the time' the tug was laid up, and he cannot reeolTer wages for such time.
COLLlSION....,.LuBILITY OF MASTER TO OWNER.
Where a tug comes into collision With her tow and receives damages foJ' which, at that time and' afterwards, tile master of the tug declares his intention to pay, such declaration is an admission that the damage was due to his act, and he being liable therefor, his promise to pay-for the same is upon consideration, and is binding. A judgment against the owners of a tug for damages arising from the nell'ligence of the master, whols not a party to the suit, does not estop him from aSBertmg that notwithlltandlng the judgment his negligence was not such as to render him liable to the owners, his employers.
4.. SAME-JUDGMENT-RES ADJUDICATA.
In Admiralty. Libel for wages and advances W. L Gayer, for libelant. L N. Nathans, for respondent.
SIMONTON, J. The defendant, a corporation of nine persons, of whom libelant is one; owns the steam-tug Henry Buck. It has no other property. Libelant was the master of the tug. His wages were at the rate of $100 per month. He now sues on an account for balance of wages for five months, January, February, March, April, and May, 1889, and for $83.75, money advanced by him for the tug, in all $583.75. The answer admits wages for the months of January and March and one-half of April; claims that libelant has already received $129.25 on account; denies all knowledge of the advances; and for another defense avers that, .owing to the negligence of libelant as master of the she was cast in damages ill a cause of Stokes v. The Henry Buck, 88 Fed. Rep. 611. in this coM, in the !:'lum of $577. In appears from the evidence that at a meeting of the stockholders held in the early part of February, 1889, it was determined to put the tug out of commission, and tie her up. In consequence all the crew .··erepaid off on 4th February, and the boat placed in charge of a watch-