the terms of a prior. grant, and that they are liable to the subsequent patentee for profits and damages, even before the invalidity of the prior grant had been judicially ascertained, w.ould not seem to be a proper remedy, in view of the fact that a more appropriate remedy has been provided by statute. Section 4918 is well designed to afford relief in a case like the one at bar. It provides, in substance, that whenever there are interfering patents, anyone interested in anyone of them may have reliefagainst the patentee by a suit in equity, and the court, after due proceedings had according to the course of equity, may ad. judge either of the patents void in whole or in part. The judgment in such case binds the parties thereto and those acquiring title to or an interest in the patent in qUestion subsequent to such adjudication. Under the provisions of this section, the complainant, if its contention is well founded, may obtain a decree determining to what extent defendants' prior patent is subordinate to its own, and to what extent, if any ,the claims of the prior patent are invalid. Upon the whole, therefore, I conclude that in a case like the one at bar, where defendant holds and is operating under a prior grant, it is incumbent on the plaintiff to proceed, in the first instance, under section 4918, to have the invalidity of defendants' patent, in whole or in part, judicially ascertained and. declared. That method of procedure appears to the court more regular, and more in accordance with the analogies of the law, than to permit the complainant to proceed against the defendants merely for infringement. It has been held that a Qount for infringement and a (,.Qunt under section 4918 may be joined in the same pill, and I can see no objection to that course of procedure. Lench v. Chandler, 18 Fed. Rep. 262; Holliday v. Pi1<khardt, 29 Fed. Rep. 853j Swift v. Jenk8, Id. 642. The decree heretofore el;ltered was for the right party, and will be allowed to stand, but it will: be modified so as to show that the dismissal ordered is without prejudice. to the right to proceed as herein indicated.
PARKset at v. BAyet at
E. D. January 3, 1891.)
PATENTS FOR INVENTIONs-INrRINGEMENT-NlJT-Looxs.
In a patent for a nut·lock, claim 1 is. for a combination, with a nut having a notched or serrated face, of a rectangular washer. split across ·ol1e of its sides, the ends thus formed being bent in opposf.te directions. and" each· being beveled from . one side to the other, to form a ,. sl.lbstantiaUy as described. Claim 9 also describes the ends of the split washer as being beveled to form a knife edge. In the speciftcations the ends of the washer are said to have "a sharp edge, " and "sharp to engage the serrated surface of the nut. .Bel.d, that the pat· ent m'lst be restricted to washers haVing beveled sharp edges. and the use of sim. 11a.r washers with squve edges does not conlltitute an infringement..
Wm. (J. Morahall, for complainants. Wm. M. Ecclea, for defendants.
THAYER, J. For the purposes of this decision it will be conceded that plaintiffs'improved nut-lock possesses patentable novelty, although, in view of the state of the art, there may be some doubt on that point. Among the numerous prior patents referred to in the answer, and put in evidence, there are several which render it questionable whether thepatent in suit ought to be sustained. I am satisfied that it can only be upheld by limiting it to the precise form of device described and claimed. The patentees cannot consistently object to such a construction of the patent, as it appears to have been their expectation when the application was pending, as evidenced by their correspondence with the patent-office, that the patent would be so limited and construed. The claims are as follows: "(I) In a nut-lock, the combination, with a nut having a notched or serrated face, of a rectangular washer, split across one of its sides, the ends thus formed being bent in opposite directions to substantially the same degree, and each being beveled from one side to the other, to form a knife edge, substantially as specified. "(2) As a new article of manufacture, a rectangular washer, made of pered steel, and haVing a bolt-hole, one side of the washer being cut through from the edge to the bult-hole, the ends thus formed being bent in opposite directions to substantially the same degree, and each end being beveled from one side to the other, to form a knife edge, substantially as described." In the descriptive part of the specification, the ends formed by cutting the washer through from one side to the bolt-hole, are said to have "a sharp edp;e," and" sharp spring-lips" to engage the serrated surface of the nut, and prevent it from turning; and Fig. 3, attached to the specification, which purports to be a detail drawing of the washer in question', also shows an unmistakable bevel, forming such a "knife edge" as 1s described in the claims. Further comment is unnecessary, to demonstrate, that the beveling of the ends of the washer where it is cut through, so as to form a "sharp or knife edge," as distinguished from a square edge, is an essential feature of plaintiffs' invention. It may be that a "square edge"-that is to say, an edge formed by cutting through the washer in a plane perpendicularto its surface, and then bending the ends back in opposite directions-would be equally as serviceable as a knife edge, formed by beveling the ends; but it goes without saying that the patentees have made the bevel a material element in both of their claims, and, whether it was necessary or unnecessary so to do, they mnst be limited to what they have claimed. In view of the construction of the patent herein adopted, there is no evidence of infringement, as none of the washers made by defendants, so far as shown, have a knife edge formed by beveling the ends. The bill is accordingly dismissed.
SMEAD et 01.
V. UNION FREE SCHOOL-DIST.,
N. D. Ner» York.
I., PA.TBN'liS FOR bVENTIONS,-DRY CLQSJIiTs,-NoVELTY.
in!which air is used to 'desiccate feilal matter, the first claim is destitute of nov, ,elliS, everything essential to the, in;ventwn stated having been described by Henry
, 'Iii patent No. 314 884,
March 8\,1885, to Isaac D. Smead for a dry closet
, Ruttan in his book pUblished in 1862; but the second and third ,claims are not without novelty, the improvements on the Ruttau system being a vault in the form of a tube so arranged as to ,reooive: deposit8 distributed aldng its surface in comparatively smaIl quantities at any,given place.
Patent No. 852,157, granted Isaac D. Smead for'improvementB in his closet, by which air is let into tbe vault from the outside of the building, and a fan employed in the vent-sbaft to create a draught, is void for want of invention.
In patent No. 868,971, also granted to Isaac D. Smead for improvements in the closet, tbe first claim is not without novelty, the, transverse \lartition located in the vault being serviceable, and adding somewhat to the effiCiency of the closet; in view of the prior patent to W. S. Ross; the second claim is without novelty.
, ". B. Foraker, H. Ho. Rockwell, Lysander HiU, and John W. ltlwnday, for complainants. , Warren, Patterson &: GambeU, for defendant. WAr,r,ACE, J. This is ail action for infringement ofletters patent No. 314,884, daterl March 31, 1885, granted to Isaac D. Smead for new and useful improvements in dry closets. The defenses are that the claims of the patent are destitute of patentable novelty, and that the invention was in public use more than two prior to the application for the patent. The dry closet of the patent is one in which air is used to desiccate fecal deposits, render them innocuous, and remove the foul odors from the building. The treatment of such deposits in buildings where a,large number o"f persons use the closets is a problenlwhich architects and sanitary engineers have attempted to solve in various ways. Water-Closets, with their sewer connections, involve the well-known danger of the of disease germs,as well as the expense and annoyance commonly incident to plumbing. Earth closets smother the foul odors, and do not thoroughly dry the deposits, and the absorbing material so s.oon becomes charged with the odors that the closets become offensive if they are not frequently and carefully cleansed; and it would seem manifest that they could not be practically employed for the use of several hundroo persons in a single building. The dry closet in which the deposita are desiccated by an air current constantly forced into contact 'With them is especially adapted for use in buildings where the general $ystem of heating and of ventilation can be utilized to furnish the air current, and convey:it'out\o.fthe, building. The present invention is more especially designed for use in such buildings;' The invention described in the specification, and shown in the drawings, consists of a system of foul-air ducts, a gathering room, a deposit vault, and a vent