qllired the Richardson patents February 15, 1879. The defendants were at that time estlloblished in the valve business, and sold steam safety valves, tn competition with whatever valves were in the market., There were persons and firms to 'whom they sold their, productions, and whom they their customers. The complainants, in 1879, soon ,after acquiring the Richardson patents, issued a catalogue giving their prices for safety valves, but quoted their valves in 1879, to some parties at least, at a large discount from their catalogue prices,-in one instance a discount of fifty per cent. The basjs of, these claims is that the complainants had an established lowest price for their several classes of valves in 1879. I do not think the evidence SIlPports this proposition to the extent that I can fi nd that the prices gi ven in Mr. Moore's tables, and annexed to complainants' charges in damages, are the lowest prices of the complainants in 1879. Th<> cOll;lplainants went into acUvecompetition with all 'valve producers of every class. Doubtless the defendants were their chief competitors, but I cannot dl'termine, from the evidence, how much of the reduction in prices, which the complainants made froint/me to time, was due to defendants' competition and how much to other causes. Douhtless both parties were trying to hold the market as against each other and as against all other competitors in the business. Under these circumstances, a general claim, even accompanied by a specification of items, cannot be maintained upon testimony relating to comparatively few instances, as in this case, and especially where some of the instances are su),. sequently explained in a manner to materially affect their force as evidence bearing upon the question of damages resnlting from direct competition." The complainants have filed no exception to the finding of the master in No. 1,184, that they have suffered no damages in addition to profits. Upon the whole evidence on this question of damages, I think the master was also right in finding that the complainants are entitled to recover in No. 1,199 only nominal damages. The exceptions in both cases are overruled, and the master's report confirmed. So ordered.
CITY OF TERRE HAUTE.
(OirauU Court, D. Indiana. October 29, 1890.)
PATBNTS FOR INVENTIONS-FIRE-ALARMS-REISSUE.
Letters patents issued July 18, 1875, to Robert for the combination with a fire-alarm gong of mechanism which automatically releases the fire-engiQe borses from their stalls, contained the following claim: "The rod with its knob and the lever, for the purpose of releasing a suspended weight by the direct action of a gong-hammer. " The reissued patent] No. 6,831, issued January 4, 1876, contained these claims: "The trip-rod and oscillating lever, for the purpose of releasing a suspended weight by the movement of a gong-hammer," and "the trip-rod, oscillating lever, and suspended weight in combination with the hammer of a gong, for the purpose of operating mechanism distant from the gong'." Held, that the claims of the reissue were fairly embraced in the claim of the original
Said patent is infringed by a device whose only difference from the patented :I\lachine is that its receives the stroke of the ha=er in its backward in.tead of its forward motion.
WAI,KER V. CITY OF TERRE HAUTE.
McDonald, Butler &: Snov and Robert H. Parkinson, for complainant. Baker &: Daniels, Horace B. Jones, and D. N. Taylor, for defendant.
GRESHAM, J. The complainant, as assignee of reiflsued patent No. 6,831, brings this suit for an injunction and accounting against the city of Terre Haute. The inventor, Robert Bragg, filed his application for a patent June 16, 1873, and the patent was granted July 13, 1875. The application for a reissue was filed October 9, 1875, and the reissue was granted January 4, 1876. The reissue, like the original, covers a combination with a ·fire-alarm gong of mechanism which operates automatically, and releases the horses from their stalls simultaneously with the alarm. The device is so arranged that the blow of the gong-hammer, announcing the alarm, also and at the same time trips the liberating mechanism, opens the stall-doors, and allows the trained horses to spring to the pole of the engine before the striking of the signal is completed. This was a great improvement on the old method of releasing the horses by hand, and leading them to the pole, and, since its introduction, engines can and do reach fires more quickly. "The object of my invention," says the specification, "is to provide a novel attachment for gongs, and it is principally valuable and applicable to fire-engine houses, where the horses which draw the engines ought to be released at the very instant of the first stroke of the alarm, so that they can take their places at the engine and hose-carriage, ready to be attached thereto by the first man who may arrive. My invention consists in the employmE'nt of an arm which is 80 situated that at the first stroke of the hammer upon the gong it will also strike this arm, which has attached to it any suitable mE'ch. flnism,80 that the force of the blow will release, through this mechanism, s weight. The falling of this weight will pull a rope which is connected with the mechanism to he operated in l:iuch a manner that the pull upon it will operate the mechanism. * * * The operation will be as follows: The gong-hammer, upon its first stroke, will strike the pael, E, and thus force the rod, D, and the arm, or lever, back until the roller, G, is released from the recess, F. * * * Various mechanical devices may be. substituted for those herein described, as will be readily seen; but the principal point of novelty is the operating of these devices directly from the gong-hammer." Bragg did not limit himself to the precise mechanism described in his specifications and. illustrated in his drawings. He had in mind that mechanism and its equivalents,-any suitable means for utilizing the force of the gong-hammer in releasing a weight (which is the equivalent of a spring) for operating any distant mechanism simultaneously with the stroke of the hammer. The claims of the reissue, which are involved in this suit, (the first and fourth,) read: "(1) The trip-rod, D, arranged as described, and the oscillating lever, 0, for the purpose of rf'leasing a sllspended weight by the movement of a gong-hammer, SUbstantially as and for the purpose described." "(4) The trip-rod, D, oscillating lever, C, and auspended weight, B,in combination with the hammer of a gong, for the purpose of operating mechanism distant from the gong, substantially as above described." .
The claims in the original read: "(1) The rod with its knob, E, and the oscillating lever. C, for the purpose of releasing a suspended weight by the direct action of a gong-hammer, suhstantiallyas and for the purpose herein described. "(2) In combination with rod, D, and the recessed oscillating lever. a, pivoted as described, the weight, H, and its roller, G, for the purpose of reli.wing friction and removing the rod, D, from the action of the gong-hammer, substantially as herein described,; "(3) In combination with the weight, B, caused to fall, as shown. the bellcrank lever, I, cord, K, and lever, L, for releasing the sliile, 0, and weight, R, lind thus releasing the horses by means of the cord, substantially as herein described."
The specifications in both patents describe the same invention. The defendant's expert found no invention referred to in either the descriptibn or the claims of the reissure not described in the original as instrumental in carrying out the object of the invention. He thought, however, that the claims of the reissue, without covering any new invention, allowl:Jd greater freedom in construction than did the claims of the original. "The rod with its knob, E," one of the elements of the combination in the first original claim, is described in the C'orresponding claim in the reissue as "the rod, D, arranged as described," the "knob, E," being omitted. In the reissue the rod projects in the path of the hammer, as It did in the original, and operates precisely as it did before. The claims in the original covered any rod extending within the sweep of the gonghammer, so that, when struck, it would perform the function of tri pping,' as described. The knob at the end of the rod performed no function independent of the rod, and it was not an operating element in the combination. r'fhe original specification showed that the action of the gonghammer upon the suspended weight was not immediate, or direct, but through intermediate elements, and, literally construed, the claims were not for the invention described, and, while the first claim in the reissue is more accurate, it is still limited to the combination which constitutes the invention,-"a combination of elements, operating substantially as and for the purpose described." Obviously the patentee feared that the original first claim might be held too broad or general, ann for that reason he desired the fourth claim, covering a subdivision of the invention. This claim was fairly embraced in the original first claim. It is more limited than that claim, but it is clearly within the original statement of invention. The reissue contains no claim which might not have been mane and allowed upon the original record. The real invention consisted in the combination of the designated elements acting in co-operation to accomplish a specified result, and the patentee was 110t limited to the precise forms of the elements shown in the drawings. Elements possessing thO' essential qualities and performing the same functions as those described in the specifications. and illustrated in the drawings, although differing in mere mechanical construction or form, were covered by the original patent. A combination patent cannot be evad,ed by a mere formal variation of all or part of the elements. Even if the claims of the reissue be construed as broader than the original