SCOTT V. FRASEk.
ment upon the exclusive: rights Of the plaintiff. The defendants were not bound to inquire whether or not the purchasers from them were licensed by the plaintiff to use the invention; and, having done no wrong themselves, they are not answerable for the unlawful acts of others. In the facts of this case we discover no ground whatever for imputing infringement to the defendants. And nmv, February 11,1892, upon the facts found, the court finds in favor of the defendants.
(Circuit Court, D. Massachusetts. February 28, 1899.)
P.&.TBl'M'! J'OB INVBNTlONS-PRIOR AaT-INFRINGBMBNT-WHIP-SocxBT CLA8PL
Letters patent No. 166,724 issued August 17,1875, to Erastus W. Scott, for an lmprovement in clasps for hollUngwhip-socketsto the dasbers of carriages, consist mainly "of a metallic band or screw-nut orfelDale screw in the band, a «:lampscrew, and a saddle provided witb an eye to receive the band. It HeM, tbat in view of tbe prior state of tbe art; and fact tbat all tbe elements of tbe combination are old, tbe patent must be strictly limited. to arrangement described, aud it fa not infringed by letters patent No. 428,679, iBBued Marcb 18, 18llO, to Daniel Fraser.
In Equity. Suit by Erastus W. Scott against Daniel Fraser for.infringement of patent. Bill dismissed. A. G. N. Vermilya, fo.r complainant. J. E. Abbott and E. p. Stocking, for defendant.
WEBB, District Judge. This is a .suit for infringement of tetters patent No. 166,724, granted to the complainant for an improveruent in whip-socket clasps;dated August 17, 1875. The defense is denial of infrinKement, and of the validity of the patent. Complainant's'specification sets out: "Tht'clllsp in question ts to encompass a whip-socket firmly, and hol.d it in connection with the dasht'r of a carriage; and it mainly consists or is composed of a metallic band or scrl'W-nnt or female screw in the band, aclamu-' scrf'W, ·lind a saddle provided with an eye to receive the band, all as hereafter
-and continues with a description of the several parts. They are: A saddle, or seat, made concave on both its faces, to conform in a general way to the convexity of the socket and of the dash-rail, which are to rest upon it, cut out in the center,so that itbea:rs only on the edges; at one end! of the saddle is a loop or eye, by which a strap passing through it is constricted, and kept closer to the Whip-socket and rail, which are of different diameters; a flexible metallic strap. long enough to extend round both socket and dash-rail, with se-veral holes at one end, to adapt the length to ditl'erent sizes, and in the other end a: single hole, to allow the passage oCa; Screw, and' lips to be bentinandgrnsp the edges of a nutj a nut and a screwj-all which are shown in the drawings. For use.
single bole in the stra.p is adjusted over the perforation of the nut, and that end of the strap is bent closely down upon two of the edges of the nut, and the lips are turned in upon the other two edges, these parts being thus held together.: The other end of the strap, passing around the socket,through the loop or eye in the saddle, and up over the dashrail,:is brought to a point where the screw, passing through one of its holes and through the leather of the dasher, will enter the nut. By setting up the screw, the ends of the strap, the end of the saddle. and the leather of the dasher are griped between the screw-head and the nut, and are firmly held. If the strap is so short that a strain upon it is necessary to bring the parts to a solid bearing, the action of the screw and nut supplies the strain, and draws it tightly about the socket and rail. As the clasp is intended to be adapted to dash-rails and sockets of any size, the number of holes in one end of the strap are designed to vary its length as may be necessary. It may easily happen that no one of these ho,le8" w,ill 'be found exactly, in .11e right :place' for this purpose. two distinct clainis in the patent, but infringement of the charged.. Therare: improved whip-socket clasp, as·described, viz., as com("osed of the rlletallic:b4nd, B, and the in combination with the screw, D, and 'the A, provided witli the eye, a,'all arranged and to operate substantiallyas Ret forth. (2) The band, B, arranged with or to clasp the nut, sides thereof, and baving iips, b b, to embrace' the nut on its other two opposite sides, all as set forth." March 18, 1890, letters patent No. 423,679 weregrarited to the defendant for "certain new and useful improvements in whip-socket atunde,r which he makes and sells, and asserts a right to makeandl;lell, the article alleged to infringe the complainant's patent. 'there is nQelenlentin either device which was not "old and familiar long b'eforetb,6qate of the supposed invention. They were not only old" but nearly everyone had been employed in earlier patents for whip-socket holde!-,I;l. , The complainant does not pretend to any exclusive property inaniop.eof the parts or elements of his device, but relies upon his combination of them. Considering the previous state of the art, if any invention was required to make the combination, the patent shOUld be construed so as to Qim very clOlilely to the exIt,ct arrangement he has described and claimed in his .appliQation. The nut and strap, though not connected, are evidently intel)ded to be guarded against accidental separation when not in and during the process of applying them. This is accomplished by tPe method of wrapping the strap around the nut so that it can bl'l pushed or rall out of the grasp only laterally, and by securing it sl,1Oh lateral removalby bending down upon its sides the lips on whether connected together or detached from each other, the s,trap.. 9perate independently of the saddle, and admit of motion towards or away from its eye or loop, so to. slacken or tighten the pOl'tionortpe stntp arpuJ,ld tile socket, and slip the strap easily through the
loop, without the aid of the screw. The defendant uses a saddle with a loop or eye substantially the same as the complainant's, and, like his, the loop constricts the band or strap to closer grasp of the socket. This saddle is also made with concave bearings for the socket and rail, and a portion of its middle is open. In this open portion, and opposite to the loop end, is a spur or hook. It has also a projecting hom, in which is tapped a female screw. His strap is constructed with a hole at one end and a slot at the other. The end with the hole is hooked upon the spur inside the saddle, the strap is then brought down through the bottom, carried round the socket, up through the loop or eye, and over the dasher's edge and rail. The clamping screw passes through the slot, and the leather of the dasher into the threaded hole in the horn of the saddle.The complainant regards this construction as the equivalent of his own. He especially contends· that the female screw· in the hom of. de-. fendant's saddle, taken with the spur on which the end of the strap is hooked, is only a mechanical equivalent for bisnut. In support of this contention be refers to this language of his specification: "ItwQ.iply consists or is composed of a metallic band or screw-nut or female, screw in the band." This is obscure and confused. It probably means a metallic band, with nut Or female screw in the baJ;ld.. Even if so, the female screw in the defendant's clasp is not blind" It is in the saddle. It cannot mov;e .the band.independentlY.Qfthe fiaddle,ordraw up any slack between the hooked. end and the loop. ness on that portion of the strap can only be corrected by in the other direction, through the loop, towllrds the head of the The distance from the point of attachment on the spur to the loqp isti.xed and invariable. No .movement of the sad!lle will affect the length of the band between those tWQ points. The complainant's nut is free and movable. If the strap is so long that setting up the, does not' tighten it around socket and rail, or so short that all the parts of nut, saddle, dasher, and screw-head cannot be brought solidly together, it may be made of right length by moving the nut" which is adjustable to any required length. My conclusion is that there is no infringement, and the bill is dismissed. .
FEDERAL REPORTER" vol. 49. DORNAN
(Otrcutt Oourt, JJ;. D.
II.: KEEFER. 1
January 29. 1892.)
Metbods other than those stated in'hls.apeci:ll.cationofoarryingan Invention Into e:l!ectare not secret inventions, such. as will be protected from disclosure under Rev. ,St. § 4908, and interrogatories d(rected to disclose such methods must be an· swered by a patentee when relevant to the ma.tter in controversy.
Motion to compel a patentee called as witness to answer interrogatories. Interference proceedings in United States patent-office between T. B. Dornan and WilliamB. Keefer, the'latter being the patentee of letters patent No. 443,095 for ingrain carpet fabric. Keefer had deGlined to describe other than by reference to his patent the method of weaving employed to' produce a fabrie offered in evidence as part of the proof of date of Keefer's invention. MOtion granted. Henry D. Williams and Witter & Kenyon, for the motion. A. B. Stoughtcm, oppused. BU1LER, District Judge. The court's jurisdiction, is admitted by counseljartd thnt subJeot' not therefore be considered. The witness declines to answer on the ground that the questions propounded are not proper cross-examination, arEHtt'elevant to the subject in controversy, and that they seek the disclosure of a secret discovery or ... tion-such' 'as' is protected. by secti60',4908 of· the Revised Statutes. Neither gtoundcan be sustained. I need not discuss the subject. It is SUfficient 'to say that the interrogatories 'seem to arise out of the examination in chief; and the information' BOught appears to' be connected with . The courtado not refuse their aid to comthe subject in pelauswers on the ground of irrelevancy' exeept where tbe answers are clearly" impertinent' it'()annot be known in advance of trial whether a particular :.Datter which seems to hl\ve a remote conne<\tionwith the general' Rubjectinvofved, will be ,relevant or not. It seems clear that the witness is not entitled to the protection of section 4908. If he has a secret which is likely to be disclosed by the inquiry, it is one involved in hi!' patented discovery; and which he has no right, therefore, to withhold from the public. In applying for the patent it was his duty to disclose the most available method known to him of carrying the discovery into effect-in other words, of manufacturing his new fabric. This information, which may be used by others after his patent has expired, is an important part of the compensation which the public obtains for the temporary monopoly granted him. If he could withhold it, disclosing an inferior method simply, which he does not employ, the discovery would never become aVllilable public property, as the patent laws contemplate it shall. He would have a monopoly after his patent had expired, which would continue so long as he could
lReported by Mark Wilks Collet, Esq., of the Philadelphia bar.