tJ;Leae.e!l.lwges by proof, they are not to be allowed to c1ahn relief upon the Il'Otllldot an> infringement unattended with fraudulent acts. I agrtle'with this contention. The complainants having estabQfthe Seabury patent, and the faet of infringethey are entitled, in a court of equity, to bJt! injunction' against the continuance of the infringement. It,f.ij),e right i to this relief which gives the complainants sta;ndlrt,g in court, and they have it without regard to whether the infringement has been a mistake or in bad faith.
SCHUYLER ELEOTRIC 00.
v. ELEOTRIOAL ENGINEERING
:March 16, 1894.)
PATENTS-LuUTATION Oll' CLAm-ELEcTRIC LIGHT SWITCHES.
In the Perkins patent, No. 247,103,. for a circuit breaker for electric lamps, claim 1, for the combination, in an electric light switch, of a ratchet having metallic projections anll insulating teeth between them, and a pawl or detent for engaging with the insulating teeth when released from contact with the metallic projections, is so limited by the prior state of the llrt and its own language that it does not cover switches made under the Crowell patent, No. 43G,122, w,hose only points of resemblance are that they are snap swItches, and CRnnotbe turned backward, those featured having been open alike to both inventors.
This was a suit by the Schuyler Electric Company against the Electrical Engineering & Supply Company for infringement of a patent. O. L. Buckingham, for complainant. Wilkinson, for defendant.
COXE, District Judge. This is an infrIngement suit liased upon letters patent, No. 247,103, granted September 13, 1881, to Charles G., Perkins for a circuit breaker for electric lamps. The inventor says: .
")Iy invention relates to improvements in that class ot switches for incandescent electric lamps in which the· break is effected by the snap or instantaneous reaction of a spring when released from contact with a conducting point or plate; and it consists in mechanical details for effecting this, the principal features of which are a ratchet wheel having both conducting and insulating teeth combined in operatlve relation with a spring pawl or detent, whicb acts as a contact maker with the conducting portions of the ratchet, and by engagement with the insulating teeth prevents the ratchet from being turned backward when the pawl has been released from contact with the said meUllllc portions."
. After describing the mechanism as shown in the drawings he proceeds:
'''J,'he i>rincipaf anvantages secured by the constructions above described ate, first, that tbe circuit cannot be completed by mIning the key backward, so tbat when the circuit is broken it must be accomplished by an instantaneous snap or reaction·of the spring pawl as it leales the conducting portion of the ra.tchet; secondly, the contact spring UlDnot be Injured by the attempts otlncautlous persons to turn the key backward, lUI migbt be the case with the
SCHUYLER ELECTRIC CO 11. ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING & SUPPLY CO.
lamps now in use; thirdly, good conducting metals which do not possess the requisite resistance for contact springs may be employed with a spiral spring of steel or similar metal; and. finally, the arrangement of the parts Is compact and durable."
The accompanying diagram, enlarged somewhat from the drawing of the patent, will serve to illustrate the invention: The first claim only is involved. It is as follows:
"(1) The combination, in an electric light switch, of Ii. ratchet having metallic projections and insulating teeth in the intervals between the same and a pawl or detent for engaging with the insulating teeth when released from contact with the metallic projections, as and for the purpose specified."
would preclude such an idea. The inventor concedes that his in· vention consists only in mechanical details for effecting improvements in circuit breakers. The device of the patent is an ingenious little contrivance for opening and closing an incandescent electric lamp circuit. It is shown as located in a lamp socket. Such an invention in any other art would probably be entitled to little consideration, but when the courts have to deal with patents relating to electricity they are apt to regard with superstitious awe the smallest contrivance by which that mysterious force is harnessed and set to work. Although this view of the subject may be correct in manJ instances it is thought that it is hardly applicable to the case at bar. Snap-action circuit breakers, used in connection with alternating insulating and conducting material, were old. So were switches having a wiping contact and a turn in one direction only. This being so, it certainly did not require a profound knowledge of electrical science to produce the patented structure. In 1871 Gilliland obtained a patent for certain improvements in dial telegraphs in which he describes a disk having marginal notches and intermediate smooth portions which serve, in connection with a spring conductor, alternately to make and break the circuit. When the spring snaps off from a conducting tooth it rests in an insulating notch and the circuit is broken. Backward movement is prevented by a pawl bearing against a collar. The mechanical -construction is, of course, different, but the principle is the same as in the Perkins patent. The patents to Guest, Rogers and Floyd show different means of accomplishing the same result, viz., the quick making and breaking of an electric circuit. It is perfectly clear, therefore, that the Perkins patent does not cover all snap-action ,circuit breakers and that it is confined both by the prior art and its own language to the device described. At least it is clear that it cannot be expanded to cover devices differing in size, shape, material, situation, mode of operation and object to be attained; devices whose only points of resemblance are features .open alike to defendant and complainant.
It will not be pretended that the invention is a fundamental one. If there were nothing else in the case the language just quoted
FEDERAL REPORTER,' VQl.
sWftehesare.!ftiade under l«ters patent No." Crowell. They Jtches 1t 1S true, and mey cannot be turned backward, are snap but in 0e.,.respects they are, much nearer several. structures found' art than to the'Perkins!SiWitt!b.They 'are mounted on a in the large china biise,three inches in diameter, and are intended'to be screwed on a .wa,ll or support.' They cannot be used ina: lanlpsocket.': NEdtherof the defendant's switches has a ratchet. Wheel and No. 2has no insulating teeth or any equivalent therefor. ',' ,Neither has unless a very broad constructionl!:t given to ," Bot.h belong to a different type of switCl1 from the patented switch. ' tbat it. would be doing The co@tt <lllnnot avoid the injustice b> the defendant and others to give the Perkins patent a construction. SO broad as til suppress improvements like those embodied in the CI;'owell 'switches. The bill i$ dislllissed..
LA:MPREY'BOILER 'FURNAOE, MOUTH ;PROTECTOR CO. v.ECONOMY lJ1EED WATER HEATER CO.
HampShire. No. 256.
June 25, 1894.)
In the Lamprey and llv.gbeepatent, No. 421,588, for anlmprovement on " their patent No... 388,367i fora structure to prevent by circulation of water the, burning out of :fU.tnace mouths, the, Improvement covered by claims 1 lllld 2, consisting of the combination, .with the applian,CElfor circulation of .'water set forth in the a si;eam dome coonectirig therewith,. ai:\d.pipesafl'ording communication with the boller, which averts the dIfficulty arising from the steam' geJieflited by allowIng the steam to collect In the dome and passfi'onl it into the boller, involveS patentable novelittY, and was not anticipated by the Sloane patent of May 16, 1882, although that patent involved the same principle and accomplished the same results, nor by other devices previom;ly. known. '
PAT'IilN'l'S-NOVELTY- STRUCTURE FOU CIRCULATION OF WATER ABOUT FURiNNCE MOUTHS. I." '
the structure for tbe 'Circulation Of water described in the patent may be a hollow shell or other contrivance as well as pipes, an M-shaped shell structure for the channels of circulatIon, ,combined with the steam dome device, although called a "steam drum," Is an infringement. A patent regular on its face is not subject to collateral attack because the patent-office fee was not paid within the time prescribed by Rev. St. U. S. §4891.:
3.SAME-DEI,AY IN BAY)1EN'l' ()11' PATENT-OFFICE FEE.
This was a snit by tlle'I;,amprey Boiler Furnace Mouth Protector Comp;lny a,gainst the Heater Company for inofa patent. . .: " " & ,J'e:r;l.llings, for complainant. Stephen S. Jewett H.W.Boardman andE. O. Somos, for defendant.
ALDRICH, DistUictJudge. The cOUlplainant claims,'protection for a strncture designed for use in connection with :various kinds.