NATIONAL HARROW CO. V. WESCOTT.
"This Invention 'consists mainly In flxin,g· the teeth of harrowll In pivoted cross-bars, which are connected by a rod or rods to a hand lever by which they may be set and secured in any desired position, either tor dragging heavy or light soU or 'quack grass,' weeds, etc."
The patent also shows an attachment by which the teeth can be raised and lowered in the eye bolt. In the Hochstein patent the claim is as follows:
''The combination of the adjustable teeth-supporting beams B, independent of each other, and the set-screws b', b', substantially as and for the purpose described."
Various patents showing similar combinations are in proof, but it is unnecessary to multiply references. Unquestionably the adaptation of spring-teetft to harrows was a pioneer invention of great value. When,however, this basic principle had been established it required only the skill of the mechanic to do with spring-teeth precisely what had previously been done with rigid teeth. The improved results were due to the elastic teeth and not to the mechanism used in fastening them to the frame. If Reed had attached spring-teeth to the Easterbrook frame by his fastening-clip he would have had the Cobb combination. If spring-teeth had been known when Hochstein made his harrow he would certainly have attached them to bis adjustllble beams instead of the teeth then in use. Cobb knew the value and efficiency of adjustable beams and of springteeth, he took out the old teeth and substituted the new ones, Reed showing him how to fasten them to the beam. It cannot be pretended that Cobb invented any of the valuable features of the harrow described in his patent; be simply took a well-known tooth and fastened it to a well-known frame by well-known means. There was original in this; it was what any skilled operator would do after the value of the spring-tooth became apparent. The claim must, therefore, be held invalid for lack of invention. The court is of the opinion that the defendants are not estopped in this action from insisting upon this defense by reason of their relations with Hench and Dromgold and the latter's relations with the complainant. The bill is dismissed.
NATIONAL HARROW CO. v. WESCOTT et al. (CirCUit Court, N. D. New York. January 27, 1898.) No. 6,346.
PATENTS-VALIDITY-SPRING-ToOTH HARROWS AND CULTIVATORS.
The Davis patent. No. 329,371, for Improvements in roller spring-tooth harrows and cultivators, Is to be con13trued as covering a harrow composed of separate frames detachably connected, each prOVided with spring teeth, and supported independently by rollers, and each, when supplied with ordinary handles, capable of separate use as a cultivator. Thus construed, the claim was not anticipated by the prior art.
This was a suit in equity by the National Harrow Company against Pulaski D. Wescott and others for alleged infringement of a patent for improvements in roller spring-tooth harrow8 and cultivator.. Edwin H. Risley, for complainant. Strawbridge & Taylor,- for defendants.
84 FEDERAL REt'ORTllllL
is an equit;r Buit, based on letters 27, 1885,fQ R. W. and A. W. Davis for improvements in roller spring-tooth harrows and vators..;The novel feature mainly relied upon by the complainant with separate deta?hable frames, is ,the ,construction of the each frame, with the addition of suitable handles, bemg capable of use as a cultivator. In short, the structure is a roller spring-tooth harrow and cultivator combined. Three separate and distinct cultivators are united to form one harrow; they can, by simple manipu. .be separated again',and used as cultivators and thus can be used interchangeably in one capacity or the other as occasion arises. The two rear being narrow, are best aoo.pted to use as cultionly the addition of handles of the weU;-known form vators and to make them operative tools. The first claim only is involved. It is as follows:
OO'XE; District Judge., ·.
lOA of separate and distinct frames connected, and el!,Ch provided with a set of teeth and supported Independently of the other by rollers connected with said frame, substantially as set forth and shown."
is lack of patentability. Infringement is not denied. The . idea of constructing a spring-tooth wheel harrow so that it could l>e. used, at the option of the operator, either as one harrow or two cultivators, seems to have been new with the patentees. If anything of this kind had been done before, the record fails to disclose it. Thus to combine two necessary agricultural implements was plainly a saving to the farmer of time, labor and money. Harrows had been constructed in sections prior to the Davis invention but these sections were not intended for use as cultivators, never were so used and could not be so used without radical changes which would have destroyed their usefulness as component parts of a harrow. The court would be doing injustice to the complainant were it to construe the claim as covering broadly a three-part harrow, each . part provided with rollers and teeth. To do this would be to ignore the specification, the drawings and the avowed object which the patentees had in view. When the claim is construed to cover a harrow cOitllposed of separate frames detachably connected, each provided with spring teeth and supported independently of the other by roll· ers connected with the frame, and each, when supplied with ordinary handles, capable of use as a cultivator, it is not anticipated or invalidated by anything in the prior art. The complainant is entitled to the usual decree.
WILLIAM SCHOLLHORN CO. v. BRIDGEPORT MFG. CO. et al. (Circuit Court, D. Connecticut. January 12, 1898.) L
PATENTS-NOVEI,TY AND I}fVENTION-PLIERs.
The Bernard patent, No. 427,220, for pliers havillg parallel jaws, to which sheet-metal handles may be attached, so as to apply the power equally at both sides of the jaws, and having an unobstructed opening between the jaws for the passage of a rod, Wire, or tool, held valid as to claim 1; and MId, that this claim was infringed by pliers of similar make, excepting that the passage between the jaws was In part blocked up.