HAMMOND BUC.,'KLECO· .,. HATHAWAY.
HAMMOND Buc.,'KLE CO.
(Circutt Court, D. Connecticut. December 1, 1891.)
PATENTS 'POR INVEN',l'JON-I'ATENTABJLITY-CLA.8PS AND BUCKLES.
L' $AJh::dEXTJ!:NTOP STATE 'OF ART. . . In letters patent No. 301,884, granted JUly 15, 188" to· the. Same persons, for.an improvement in similar buckles, the .tongue-plate was a single piece of metal, , ·. , .' f itself, and forked at its relU'i end next the catch-plate. The toiigue 8wnng:in this bifurcation, Us pivot being located underneath the tongue-plate·. Into',. under-fold of the tongue-plate partially. embraced· the ends of Which was beld betiyeen the, The object of this 'construction .""sto canse the or a portion of it, to extend rearWard 'of the tongue, g s.u.rfa.ce.for the cat.G.h.-P late. The firstc.laim was: ".In.co.m form.mg,there B b.eari.n . . bina,tioD" the plate, thll tongue pivoteP directly to the' and tlle 'tongue-plate rllarward of the pivot and in contact wlth the catch-plate When ·the parts are engaged. tI. Beld that, as the claim was merely for an improved , olasprwhich had manypredeoessors, it must be so limited that the tllngue should be only 'pivoted directly to the. tongue-plate, but below its face, and between its bifurcated ends.
Letters patent No. 251,246. granted December 20, 1881, to Theodore E. King and Joseph H1Lmmond, Jr., are for an improvement in glove-fasteners, shoe-buckles, and.siplVar articles,·:which consist of a tongue-plate, a tongue or lever pivoted to t1,le and a slotted catch-plate, with which the tongue can be engaged, and' lii which the two parts of the buckle are drawn together and securely fastened. The iplprovementconsisted 1n dispensing with the spring element usually found in pre-exiBting devices, which operated on the tongue, and held it in anopen or closed position'. Held, that this patent is void; for letters patent granted November 9, l88O.to CharlesF. Littlejohn, were for.t.he same device as applied to carriage boot,flaRiI; .aM it involved no.invention to apply it to wearing appareL
Thi'llllatent is infringed by a bucklewhtch is composed of two plates riveted together, the lower being. provided with projections in whiCh the pivots of the turn, and which fit into openings in the upper plate when the two lie tOll'etheri and the upper and spring-plate being bifurcated, and extending on both sides 01 the rearward, to affor!! a bearing. surface for catch-plate, IOW6!-" plate'has no such exteusion.
In Equity. On final hearing. W. Hey, for plaintiff. Frederick P. Fiih, for defendants.
SHIPMAN, J. This ill a bill in equity, based upon the alleged infringement of three letters patent,-No. 251,246, dated December 20, 1881, for a glove-fastener; No. 301,884, dated July 15,1884, for a shoe-clasp, each of.said patents having been issued to Theodore E. King and Joseph Jr.; and No. 341,422, dated May 4, 1886. The complainl;tnt submitted to a dismissal of its bill so far as the third patent is concerned. No. 251,246 is for an improvement in glove-fasteners-, Shoe-buckles, and ai,milar articles, which consist of a tongue-plate, a tongue or lever . pivc:>ted to the tongue-plate, and a slotted catch-plate, with which the tongue can be engaged, and by which the two parts of the buckle are drawn. together and securely fastened. The improvement consisted in dispensing' with the spring element, which usually. found in preexistiIlg devices, and whiph was generally by some kind of a . which operated upon the tongue, and held it in open or closed position, like the spring that acts on the billde oia pocket-knife,
lRehearing denied, 48 Fed. Rep. lllI4
and substituting therefor a hook or tongue of peculiar curvature. The patent also of a st.op,to the tongue swinging too. far back, but there is no patentable novelty in that part of the alleged Improvement, for. as it was said by the patent-officeexllminer in the correspondence relative to the grant of this patent, "with this kind of hook it is believed to be impossible to hinge the two parts without havlng thee<;lge act as a In order that the descriptioo(:ontainl1d in the'specificatiOn and the claim of the patent may baund,ersfuodit is necessary to define the meaning of the terms which are used. 'The hook, 0,1$ thetoogu6; the curve, 01, is the arched partofthe: tongue, which over the pivot; the loop, 0 2 , is the bend or bight of the'tongue; the. plate, A, lsthe catch-plate; and the plate,B, is the tongue-plate, having an opening, Bt, wllose outer 'edge serves as a stop. The specification. says: " "0 is tbehook, which· is, hinged to, the ,inner edge of and passes through an opening in A when the tw(}edges aresec!lred together. The hinged hook or has a curved Iback, slishtl;y: in from the binge as it re8llhes the loop. 02. 80tbat the, point a&- wbichtheplate. A. rests wben the clasp is shut is ,the most distant from ,tbe, center of any IOQP.C 2· , This'point, of the loop, also 1Ie8,in such a direction that strain. is broughtupQl1, tlle fastener It draw the outer end. which rests upon"the plate. B,cloBe down upon the pll\tewith a slight pressure. ,... ....:The openillg,'BJ, in the plate, B, through which the hook is turned upthe hinge passes, is made of Buch l\ width that as Fig. 8,. par,t. aud acts asa stop topJ:eventthe hooktl:om turning, too far ,The claim is as f o l l o w s : , '''The afthe hOOK; C, 'laving the CS. with the plate, A, having the opening, Al, and the plate, B, having the opening, B 1. substantially as described." A hook or tongue of this peculiar shape, and used for precisely the same purposes, viz., having drawn two opposing edges together, to hold them together, an4 to remain ip closed position by the strain of the other part of the btltlkle, was "'ell known bef6rethe inveritibn ofthe patentees. .It isfound in the Littlej9h'il patent of November 9, 1880; for a: carriage boot-flap hook. The elitire hook is thus'described: Above the folded there was a stal;llUligstrap arid a: free strap below. ArrtetaHoop was attached to the$tll.hding strap, a metal hook, with a loop at one end'; was attiiched to the free .strap by'this lObp. The loop was bent inward, and downward, SOI\S .to form a bearing surface substantially 1n1ine i>rslightly forward of ,the straight line Of the strap. The bend 'of the loop portion was iIi reitr of the point 'where the free .strap wllsfl.ttached. To' engage the free strap with the 'standing strap the hook' was ,ttl rned up, and its free end passed through 'down to bring its the loop upon the standing strap, ltnd was then end against the fi'eestrap. The speCification says: ' '.' . "Tbis bringa line of 'j)uIJ.<lr strain at the bend itirear of the point where tbe free stl'sp is attached, so that the 'and hold the end or 8uitab'le:bearingsurface down and agatrt'sttha fl'aestrap." .
HAMMOND BUCKLE C(), V, HATHAWAY.
The Littlejohn hook had substantially the ,same shape and mode of operation as the hook of No. 251,246. There was no novelty in the mode by which the old tongue was applied to the glove-fastener or the shoe-buckle, and there was DO patentability in taking it out of its place h! a carriage and substituting it for another tongue in the same general kind of a fastener upon wearing apparel. In order to ascertain the character and validity of No. 301,884 it is necessary to know the state of the art at the date of the invention. Very many patents have been issued of late years for arctic buckles, some of them for minute advances in the art, so that the territory open to invention seems to have been fully explored and occupied. In this case the defendants were of opinion that the state of the art with reference to the improvement contaiQ-ed in No. 301,884.was shown at the date of the invention, with substantial clearness. by patents No. 191,758 and No. 215,824, which also. issued to Hammond & King. The tongue in patent No. 191,758 was hinged to snupper which plate was secured at itaquter or front end to a lower plate, which was the tongue-plate, and which was attached to .the shoe. The clasp of patent No. 215,824 had a spring-plate curved to fit the under side of the tongueplate. and lying clpse to it, and held in. place by the ends of the tongueplate. The tongue passed up through a hole in the tongue-plate, had a projection. on eacbside,. which rested in raised projections at the sides of the toJ)gue-plate. SO.88 to Jorm a hinge upon which the tongue turned. A projection acted downwardly upon the spring-plate, IlO that the pressure of spring held the tongue open or shut. The catch-plate had which fitted upon the projections of the tonguealso plate. The idea was the two parts of the clasp were together. the projections joined, and prevented the two parts from being: drawn longitudinally. The buckle·of No. 301,884, sofar as the first three claims are concerned,is described as followS: The tongue-plate was a single piece of metal, doubled upon itself, and was forked at its tbe. end next the catch-plate. The tongue swung in fear this bifur-cation, the pivot of the tongue being located underneath the tongue-plate. Indentations ,in the under-fold of tongue-plate partiallyembrnced the ends of the pivot-pin, which was. held between two folds. The specificlltion says: "It will be. observed that this construction of the tongue-plate causes the tongue-plate. or: a portion of it. to extend rearward of tll.e tungue, forming
there a beal"illJt surface for Lhe catch-plate. the result of which is, in usc, that the whole structure is Caused to muve together when movement of the catch-plate is had. which un'ityof motiun in the parts of the shoe-clasp pl'a861'VeS the twotlaps of the Shoe in IL better relation to each other than in the case where Lhe cateh-plate CaD be tilted. downward indelJendently of the tongl,le."
When the tongue pivots are formed' solely underneath the tongueplate, the face of the plate ,maybe mada smooth. A cross-bar or projection ontha; tongue-plate back oi the tongue made a stop which limited the backwardpl.ay dC the tongue. The first thtee claims, which ate the only ones: said to have been inlrin:ged, are as 1011ows: ,. ,
CI (1) In combination, the catch-plate, the tongue pivoted directly to the tongue-pla,te,l\nd the tongue.plate, extending rearward of the pivot, :and in contactwitb the catch-platewllen the parts are engaged, all lJubstantjally as described. (2) In combination, the catch-plate, the tongue pivoted dirertly to the tongue-plate, and tile tongue-plate baving a smooth surface from a point in the rear of the pivot to a point in front 01' the pivot, all substantially as described. (3) In combination. in a dasp, a tongue-plate, bearing a tongue pi voted directly to the tongue-plate and bet ween its bifurcated· ends by a pivot arranged below the surface of the plate, an inwardly projecting bar or lug. arranged adjacent to the tongue, and forming a stop whereby the backward tongue is limited, and a catch-plate, all substantially as described." play of
The improvement consisted in having the body oJ the tongue plate extended on 'both sides of the tongue beyond the pivot, so as to form a bifurcation at the inner end of the plate in which the tongue plays, these extensions being for the purpose! of forming supports upou'which the Clitch-phtte is drawn asthetbogue is closed, and which prevent the catchplate fronichanging its position., The pull of the'tongue and the catch. plate upon each other is moreefficieilt when the :pivotil:! below the fold Of the: tongue-plate.. His plainthlttthis buckle is a different thing, in theway'in' which and the'means by which the ca:tcl1-plate is made to be an efficient member of the buckle, from the preced'ing patetits.whieh have been described; .The differen:Ce consisfsln the efficiEini plate, 's:nd this is accomplished by the bifurcated extensioh's ofthetongueplate which projectrearwardly beyond the pivotS'. : The 'question of importance is whether this improvement hus the elementofpatentable invention. I do not think that the mere elongation of the would have been patentable, but! ain of'opinionthatthe way in whitlhthe lengthening Wlis accomplished and:the support was given to the catch-plate, viz.; by the bifurcated extensions of the body-of the tongue-plate on both sides of the tongue beyond the pivot, in which extensions the tongue plays, and upon which the catch-plate is supported in position; did show patentable invention. There was no invention in the production of smoothness of surfa.ee upon the face of the tongue-plate. If smoothnesS was desirable, it was easily attained by forming the sockets for the tongue-pivots solely in the lower fold of the plate. Neither was ,there any patentability in the stop. !tWas a familiar device. It had no new or different function, and there was no inventive skill in the means employed to put it into or to adapt it to the new tongue-plate. The firstelaiiri was made as broad as the permit,and was intended to cover. any tongue-plate to which the tongue was directly. pivoted, and .which rearward of the pivot, and came ,in contact with the This claim, being merely for an improved clasp, and one which had many, predecessors, must be limited by construction to tpe invention as it was made,and therefore the details are important. It should be 80 limited that the tongue should be not only pivoted directly to the tongue-plate, but below its filCe, and between its bifurcated ends. : The second claim was for the catch-plate and the tongue pivoted directly to the tongue-. an entirety, was plate having a snlOoth. su:rface. rrhis combination, not patentable. It was intended to be for the elements of the .claim,
HAMMOND BUCKLE CO. t1. HATHAWAY.
plus a smooth tongue-plate; but inventive skill is required in a combination as well as an entirely new device, aud there was no skill in so arranging the pivots of the tongue that the surface of the tongue-plate should be smooth. The third claim is for the elements of the first claim and the stop. A combination of devices, new or old, in order to be patentable, must produce some new effect or result, as the product of the combination. A stop was a familiar part of tho tongue-plate. This stop was like its predecessors, and no skill was required to add it to the plate, and, when added, it produced its old, independent result. It was not a part of the improvement; it operated in its old way, and contrilJ. uted no new result. This claim is not patentable. The two buckles which have been made by the defendant, and which are known in the case as "Defendant's Weld Buckle A," and "Defendant's Weld Buckle B," infringe the first claim of No. 301,884. Buckle C is not claimed to infringe th,ispatent. Thllre is more uncertainty in regard to the infringement by defendant's weld buckle D. It is composed of two plates, riveted together. The lower plate is provided with projections at its inner end, in which the laterally projecting pivotS of the tongue turn; and the upper plate is provided with openings, wliichreceive the top portion ofthe' . It is the reverse of the method projections when the two plates lie by which the tongue and tongue-plate of No. 215,824are pivoted together. The upper and spring plate is bifurcated, and extends on both sides of the tongue rearward to afford a bearing surface for the. catch-plate, but ihe lower plate has no SUCh extension beyond the tongue-pivot to afford such a bearing.. The buckle asa whdle differs materially in appearance from the' buckle of the patent. The projection at the end of the lower plate, in which the pivots turn, and the openings in the upper plate; which reqeivethe top portion oithe projections, are, in appearance, quite unlike the double leaves of the patented buckle, between which the piv.ot-pin is held. The extension of one side of the double plate is a departurefrohi the form ofthe p'atented buckle. But, with some nesitaiion, T thipk that the essential and described elements of the first 'claim are present in buckle D, notwithstanding the differences in details ofconthe bill as to patents Nos. struction. Let there be a decree 251,246 and 341,422, and for an injunction against' the infringement of the first claim of No. 301,884. and for an accounting.
(Oircuit Oourt; D. New JfJruy. December I, 1891.)
Latte);s patent No. 819,q97, issued June 16, 1885, to George D. Paul and Cyrus E. Vreel.and, covered an improvement in OU:I!.bU.ttons, whereby they are provided with a separahle shoe, "consisting of a spring.metalring, formed with a flaring opening, a, through which the post or shank is and with a yielding central portIon, curved outwardly, forming a seat, c, in which the postorsbank rests, "and "adapted to be secured to the'sbankbetween its outer end and the fabrio through which the shank is inserted." Hell}, that, in view of the l?rior stat.e of the art, and of the fact thatbroaderc1aims were orilfinally made and rejected, the patent must be restricted .to the specUlc device descri6ed, and is not infringed by letters patent No. 382,3t2, issued 1tIay l:l, 1888, to Egbert A1sdorl and George D. Paul. 8. SAMB-AsSIGNMENT-EsTOPPBL. . The f$<lt that the inventor and patentee of an improvement in an article sells and aI/signs tbe pa'ent to a third l?erson dOeBnot, in t be absence of misrepresentations as to the scope of t.he patent; estop· him from obtaining a patent for another and di:l!e.-ent tmprovement thereon. . 1.
PATENTS I!'OR INVENTIONS-PRIOR STJ,TB OJ' ART-CUPI!'·BuTTONS.
'J.. ,Th.is. up.on.".I.etters rate.nt No. 819. ,997, dated June 16, 1885, to GeorgeD..Pau , t4e inventor, and to his assignee ,of Cyrus E. Vreeland, for an improvement in buttons; the i,nventionconsisting (the specification states) lI.in certain features of construction," the object blling to provide a device adapted to be applied to a. cuff-button, to prevent it from coming through the button-hole and becoming lost.. The patent has a single claim, which is as follows: "A button. constructed with a. rigid post or shank, havi ng an enlarged fiat t'nd, and provided with a. separable, shoe. cor.sisting of a ring. formed witb a flaring through which the post or shank is passed, and with a yielding central portion, cllrYl'd outwardly, forming a seat, c. In which the post or shank rf'stllj the said shoe adapted to be se('lIred to,·the shank between its outer end and the fabric through which tile shank' Is inserted, substantially as setfOlth." By virtue of assignments from Vreeland to one Van Hovenberg and from the latter and said Paul, the plaintiff, on Jannary 17,1885, became the sole owner of the said invention and the letters patent therefor. Subsequently, upon the application of Cyrus E. Vreeland, the inventor, filed January 14, 1888, letters patent No. 382,342, dated May 8, 1888. were wsued to Egbert Alsdorf and George D. Paul, as assignees of Vreeland, for improvements in button fasteners. The alleged infringing buttons are made under and in accordance with this latter pat nt. The bill of complaint proceeds upon the assumption that the Paul invention, for which the patent in suit was granted, consisted in "the formation and construction oCa removable spring.back'washer or shoe, with a central perforation of such a relative diameter as to be used in connection with