(Circuit Court, W. D. Pennsylvania. May 6, 1890.)
PATENTS FOR INVENTIONS-NOVELTY-INFRINGEMENT-MANTEL FRAMES.
Letters patent No. 389,840; granted September 11,1888, to Schuette & Co., assignees of .Robert B. Thompson, for an improvement in the construction of mantels, whereby oneslZe of mantel frame may be fitted to fire-places of different sizes, do not disclose an invention of any primary character; the same generalresult having already been achieved. The pa,tentees are to be confined to their specific form of construction; and their rights are not infringed by mantels made under letters patent No. 4OIl,596, granted to William Anderson on August 20, 1889.
W. BakweU ac Sons, for complainants. Joseph R. Edson, for defendant.
ACHESON, J. The plaintiffs, to whom, as assignees of Robert B. Thompson, the inventor, letters patent No. 389,340, for an improvement in the construction of mantels, were issued on September 11, 1888, sue the defendant for the alleged infringement of the same. The declared object of the invention is to provide a construction for mantels whereby one size of mantel frame may readily and accurately be fitted to fireplaces of different sizes; and the specification thus states what the invention is: "The improvement consists in combining With the frieze and pilasters of the mantel frame a lintel. extending below the frieze, and jambs extending inward .from the pUasters, the jambs and lintel being connected by a tongue and groove slide joint, substantially in the manner hereinafter described, and . as pointed out hl the claim." . Then, after a reference to the accompanying drawings, follows this particular d eseription: "A designates a mantel, which may be constructed, as usual, of wood or kindred material, with ambre or less ornamental frieze. B, and pilasters, C, inclosure which is to be fitted to the fire-place, in front of which forming the mantel is to be arranged. To this end, in my a wooden or other litltel, D, having a longitudinal groove, D', in its lower edge, is fastened alongtbe back of the frieze, B, with its lower edge extending below the same. so as to make-the opening the desired height. Jambs,. E, having tongues, F, on their upper ends adaptl'd to the groove, D/, in the lintel, are then cut to the desired length, and s\l.itably fastened to the backs of the pilasters. C, with their tongues, F, resting in the groove, D',· and at an eqtlal and such a distance from thtJ center line of the fire opening as to make the width of the same correspond to that of the fire-place." The claim of the patent is in these words: "A mantil constructed of a frieze, pilasters fixed to opposite ends thereof, a lintel secured detachably to the back of the frieze, and projecting below the same, and jambs secured detachably to the backs of tho pilasters. projecting in ward beyond the same, and connected by an adjustable slide joint to the detachable lintel, substantially as described." The "adjustable slide joint" designated in the claim is, of course, the tongue and groove joint to which, as we have seen, such prominence is
SCHUETTE tI. ANDERSON.
given in the specification, first, in the general statement of the invention, thus, "the jambs and lintel being connected by a tongue and groove slide joint, substantially in the manner hereinafter described, and as pointed out in the claim," and then in the after and more complete description, viz.: "'" ... Lintel, D, having a longitudinal groove, D', in its lower edge. '" '" Jambs, E. having tongues, F. on their upper ends adapted to the groove, D', in the lintel, '" '" '" and suitably fastened to the backs of the pilasters, C, with their tongues, F, resting in the groove, D'." It is needless to state that this joint was old, and commonly used for many purposes in carpentry. The word "detachably" found in the claim does not elsewhere occur, nor does the specification contain any statement explanatory of the sense in which the term is used. But Fig. 2 of the drawings shows that the lintel is fastened to the back of the frieze,alld the jambs to the backs of the pilasters, by means of screwsi and, having regard to the avowed object of the invention, it may fairly be concluded that by the phrase "secured detachably" is meant by a fastening, by screws or otherwise, which admits of the ready removal and adjustment of the lintel and jambs without further disturbing the mantel frame. In behalf of the plaintiffs, it is cCllltended with great earnestness that the secure union of the non-adjustable parts of the mantel, viz., the frieze and pilasters, so as to form a strong, self-sustaining frame-work, which will bear transportation and handling, and is not at all dependent on the jambs and lintel for strength or support, is a distinguishing characteristio, if not the chief feature, of Thompson's invention. But, certainly, this is not to be discerned on the face of the patent.. There is not a word in the body of the specification descriptive of the manner in which the frieze and pilasters are connected, and all on that subject we learn from the claim is that the pilasters are "fixed to the opposite ends" of the frieze. Nor do the drawings show how the frieze is connected with the pilasters. But, looking into the specification, we discover the inventol' unfolding his invention in this wise: " A designates a mantel, which may be constructed, as usual, of wood or kindred material, with a more or less ornamental frieze, B, and pilasters, C, forming an inclosure which is to be fitted to the fire-place in front of which the mantel is to be arranged. To this end, in my improvement, a wooden or other lintel * '" * is fastened along the back of the frieze:" -and then follows the further description, already quoted, respecting the lintel and jambs, and the mode of their adjustment to the fire-place. In my judgment, then, the substance of Thompson's invention as disclosed by bis specification: is the adjustability of the lintel and jambs whereby one size of mantel frame may readily be fitted to fire-places of different sizes. But certain is it that Thompsol\ was not the firetto devise an adjustable mantel. The patent to ThomasScautlin, No. 245,095, dated August 2, 1881, which, it is noticeable, onlyprofessesto be for "improvements" in adjustable mantel-pieces,shows provision-First, for an adjustable shelf and outside jambs adapted to fit a ,variety of sizes of
chhnney; and; secondly, liadjustable jambs to the fire-place 'opening the sizeot' the fire-place, and fit a variety adapted'to ,increase 'of sizes of grate baskets·':" 'And the patent to Robert H; Gudgeon, No. 254',$6S"datedMarch'14, 1882, shows such a construction of ·theparts constituting the chimney-piece, chimney-piece covering, mantel-board and super-mantel,' that by sliding one on the other they can be adjusted to dHT'erent sizes or forms of grates or chimney openings "without requiringtobespecially and without the assistance of ,skilled labor to fix them." 'The' following' clause of Gudgeon's specification has special significance here: ' '
"Tlie'jambs, a, a, are provided at their upper ends, where joined by the frieze. with .dove·tailgrt?oves, e, e, to 'receive the ends of the frieze, f, I'. formed with a, g, ,at each end, to lit and slide in the said grooves."
Again, one of the exhibits in this case, illustrating the prior state of the art,is a mantel ma;de in 1880, and a specimen of others made before and since', in which too lintel projects below the frieze, and is secured to the back of the frieze by screws, and the inner jambs, those next the fire-place, are secured by screws to the backs of the pilasters, and project inwardly beyond the same. That mantel has also outer grounds or jambs running the whole length of the pilasters and frieze, fastened thereto by Acrews, and '. binding them together. There is direct tesH many that those mn.ntels were made and sold as mantels which could be adjusted and fitted to fire-places of different sizes. The mantels complained of as infringing the plaintiffs' patent are made under letters patent No. 409,596, granted to the defendant on August 20, 1889. ,In the construction of these mantels the lintel is not attached to the back of the frieze, but its ends are attached to the backs of the pilasters, and an airspace is left between the lintel and frieze, which is claimedto bea p;reat advantage; and the mode of connecting the jambs 111ld lintel is this,viz., the lintel, at each end, on the rear ,,;de, for the distance of about one-third its length from the end, and for some inches upwardly from its lower edge, is'rabbeted or "halved out," and each jamb, at its upper end and outer side, is correspondingly rabbeted or halved out; and these reduced parts Qf the lintel and jambs are lapped, and, when thus fitted, are secured together by wood screws which pass through the jambs from the rear side into the lintel. Now, if it be conceded that the plaininvention; yet, surely, in view of the tiffs' patent reveals be held to be an invention of any primary prior state of the art, it character. As we haiVeseen, the same general result had already been achieved by prior patentees. At the most, Thompson was an improver only, andthnt j too, Within narrow limits. The claim of the patent, then, is not to be interpreted so as to embrace the improvements of others. ' Railway Co. 'v. Sayles, 97 'N. S. 554,556; Duff v. Pump 00., 107 U.S. 686, 2 Sup;:Ct. Rep. 481. And, upon the whole, I am of opinion, that the plaintiffs must be confined to the specific form of' construotion shown by their patent, and that the defendant does not infringe upon their rights. Let a decree be drawn dismissing the bill of complaint, with costs. .
CELLULOID MANUF'G CO.
DRY PLATE &: FILM: CO.
. CELLULOID MANUF'a CO.
EASTMAN DRY PLATE EASTMAN Co.
(Oircuit Cowrt, N. D. New York. Aprll 2/S, 1890.)
PJ.TBNTS FOR INVBNTIONS-INFRlNGEMBNT-INroNCTION.
A preliminary injunction for infringement of letters patent Nos. 269,840, 269,848, and 269,344, issued to John H. Stevens December 19, 1882, for improvements in the manufacture of pyroxyline oompounds, will be denied where it appears that defendants are responsible, and are manufacturing under letters patent No. 417,202, granted to Henry M. Reichenbach, thin films for photographio purposes used only . on rolls owned by defendants, and alleged to be patented, and that plaintiffs have never manufactured 1llms in that form or for that purpose.
Motions for Preliminary Injunctions. Frederic H. Betts, for the motion. M. B. Philipp, opposed.
COXE, J. This action is founded upon three letters patent, granted to John H. Stevens on the 19th day of December, 1882, for improve-
ments in the manufacture of pyroxyline compounds. They are numbered respectively 269,340, 269,343' and 269,344. No. 269,343 was, after declared valid by this court. Oelluloid Mamif'g 00. v. American Zylonite Co., 35 Fed. Rep. 301. The other two have not been adjudicated, are for analogous improvements. The principal contention here is upon the question ofinfringement. The defendants manufacture a filIll 'or photographic purposes pursuant to the formula ora patent, No. 417 ;202, owned by them and granted to Henry M. Reichenbach. These films are very thin, are made long lengths wound on spools, and are intended for use in cameras provided with roll-holders. The complainant has never made for sale photographic films in this or adapted to this use. It has, therefore, no. customers to supply in this particular branch illdustry. It is entirely clear that an injunction will subject the defendants to injury of the most serious character without corresponding advantage to the complainant. The defendants are not interfering with Gomplainant's market. The films which they manufacture have no market except as they are used in roll-holders sold by. them, and. prptecj.ed, it is alleged, by their patents. Should the deiendants cease IXlaking these.films the complainant would not be materially benefited, unless the defendants abandon their defense and take a license under the patents in suit.. That the defendants are amply responsible and able to pay any amount which theCOIl)plainant may recover against them is not questioned. If the case were one where the defendants' condUyt is,p.estroying or may destroy complainant's business the situation would ,4ifferent. The complainant may acquire the right to furnish these .6,lma and increase its business to this extent, but there can be no great hardship in holding this right in abeyance during the few months that will elapse pending the final hearing. The defendants strenuously