demand for the payment of a debt, and a threat to sue, or to place the demand in the hand of It lawyer for suit, if the debt is not paid, is nOW non-mailable matter. Henceforth persons writing sMh demands and threats must inclose them in sealed envelopes, or subject themselves to criminal prosecution. The demurrer to the second and third counts is not well taken, and is therefore overruled as to those counts. The language employed in the postal-card, described in the first count is not of a threatening character, and, in my opinion, no jury would be warranted in finding, in view of its contents, that it was obviously intended 'by the writer to reflect injuriously on the character or ,conduct of the person addressed, or to injure 01' degrade him in the eyes of the puhHc. It is true that it contains a demand for the payment of a debt, and says that it is long past due, and that a collector has <'.aIled several times; ,but it is couched in respectful terms, and no intent is apparent to put it in such form as 'to attract public notice, or to make it offensive to the person addressed. Congress has not declared that postal-cards shall not be used to make such demands, and a construction of the act ought not to be adopted that will unnecessarily restrict their use for 'business purposes. The card in qllestioncannot be held to be non-mailable, without being overcritical and extremely punctilious in the choice of language which men tnay lawfully use in their daily transactions. The demurrer is accordingly sustained as to the first count.
EDISON ELECTRIO LIGHT
(Oirau.it OOUTt, 1). New JurBC/J. October 1,1889.)
Under Rev. St.U. B. § 4887, providing tbat every patent for an invention previously patented in a foreigu country IIba11 be 110 limited as to expire when the foreign patent does, not to exceed 17 years in any event, where a complaint, in a bUlfor infringing a patent for an invention previouslY patented in a foreign country, alleges that tbe foreign patent is still in force, and the answer alleges that it had expired before suit brought, the duration of the patent is a matter to be adjUdicated by the courts on evidence in pais.
In Equity. Bill for infringement of letters patent. John e. Tomlinson and O. A. Seward, for oomplainant. Wm. BakeweU and Samuel A. Duncan, for defendants. Before MCKENNAN and WALES, JJ.
PERCURIA.M. The bill filed in tbis case is for an infringement of letters patent No. 264;642, dated September 19, 1882, granted to the complainant, as assignee of Thomas A; Edison, who was the,original 'applicant therefol,-inventor of the improvement therein described. The defendant has pleaded that a patent for the same invention had ibeen iesued to the Thomas A. Edison by the Austro.Hungarian
DUNHAM'". DENNISONMANUF'a CO.
on the 3d day of February, 1881, for the term of one year, and that a subsequent grant was made extending the term of the lastmentioned patent ,for a new term of one year, which expired on the 3d day of February, 1883; that this extended Austro-Hungarian patent was existinK and unexpired when the patent in suit was granted, and that,the term thereof expired on the 3d day of February, 1883, and before the commencement of this suit,and thereby the said Austro-patent then expired, within the meaning of section 4887 of the Revised Statutes; and that, by reason of the premises, the patent sued on had expired by operation of law prior to the bringing of this suit;. and that this court has no jurisdiction, and ought not to entertain jurisdiction, of this suit, the plaintiff having a complete and adequate remedy at law. This is the substance of the plea, and it has been set.dpwn for argument by the plaintiff. The bill alleges that the AustroHungarian patent has not expired; that it was granted for the term of 15 years from its date, and is now in full force and effect. The quespresented covers the proper meaning and construction of section4887 of the Revised Statutes, and has recently been decided by the supremecourt of the United States in the case of Refrigeratilng Co. v. Ham'mOnd, 129 U. S. 151,9 Sup. Ct. Rep. 225, :where the court held that "under section 4887, although, in the case provided for by it, the United States patent may on its face run for seventeen years from its date, it is to be so Ihl1ited by the courts, as a matter to be adjudicated on evidence in pais, as.to expire at the same time with the foreign patent, not funning in any case more than the seventeen years; but, subject to the latter limitation, it is t9 be in force as long as the foreign patent is in force." This is decisive against the sufficiency of the defendants' plea in this C4lse. Hence it must be ordered that the defendants' plea stand as an answer, or part of an answer, to the plaintiff's bill.
(Circuit Cowrt, B. D. New York. December 2O,1889.) L
PATENTS POB INVENTIONS-REISSUE 0'8 LETTERS-EXPANSION OF CLAIMS.
Inletters patent No. 277,245, granted May 8,1888, to Joseph T. Dunham. the first olaim is for" a combinedtag and envelope,made substantially as herein shown and described, and consisting of an envelope having at one end a flap of sufficient size to cover one side of the envelope;" in such patent, as reissued, No. 10,488, June 10, 1884, the first and second claims are respectively for "a combined tag and envelope, * * * wherein the flap which closes the mouth of the envelope iB fastened, "etc., and for" a combined tag and envelope, * * * the fiaphaving an eyelet hole, which, when the flap is folded down on the envelopebcoincides with an eyelet hole in the envelope, " etc. Held that, the latter claims, so expanded as to be no longer limited to a flap of suftlcient size to cover the envel0l'e, as was the case in the original patent, are invalid, as including structures and improvements neither described nor claimed ,in the original.
I,IlJ.l,JE..,-EXTENT OF CLAIM-PRIOR STATE OF THE .ART.
, . In .letters patent No. S:h,1l8, granted 24,1885, to Joseph T. Dunham, the first'and second claims are, respectively, for "an envelope having a fiap pro-