THOMSON-HOUSTON ELECTRIC CO,.
I do not think that the);mprovement described in claims 37 and 38 possesses the element of patentable invention.. It is an obvious method of cOIlBtruction,when the reproducer is mounted in a hinged arm. Let there be an interlocutory decree against an infringement of claims 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24, and for an accounting, which will be drawn substantially in the form settled by J-qdge Grosscup in the Amet Case, and printed in 74 Fed. 1008.
THOMSON-HOUSTON ELECTRIC CO. v. UNION RY. CO. et
(Circuit Court, S. D. New York.
June 11, 1898.)
An improvement which consisted In pivoting the contact arm of an underrunning trolley system to a rotating support on the top of the car, to which the spring which presses the arm upward Is also attached, rather than to the car itself, so that the arm may be swung from one end of the car to the other, required only mechanical skill. The Van Depoele 'patent, No. 495,383, for Improvements In overhead contact devices for electric railways, is void, as to claims 11, 12, and 13, for want of patentable invention.
2. SAME-CONTACT DEVICES FOR ELECTRIC RAILWAYS.
This was a BUit in equity by the Thomson-Houston Electric Company against the Union Railway Company and the Wal'k'er Company for alleged of the Van DepO patent for imle provements in overhead contact for electric railways. FredericH. Betts, for Charles E. Mitchell, for SIDPMAN, Circuit Judge. This is a bill in equity based upon the infringement of claims 11, 12; and 13 of letters patent No. 495,383, applied for on June 20, 1888, and issued on April 11, 1893, to the administrators of Charles J. Van Depoele, for improvementi! in overhead contact devices for electric railways. The application for the, pa,tent was sworn to by Van Depoele on November 15, 1887. The three claims which infringed are as follows:
"(11) In·an electric railwaY,the combination of a car, an overhead ,conductor, a standard on the car,. a rotating support thereon, an inclined contact-carryiIJ,g arm hinged upon said support, and a tension spring secured so ·as to rotate with the \!Upport, and acting upon the said arm, for holding fhe contact device in position. (i2) In I'm electric railway, the combination, with a car, of a standard on tlle car, a rotaling support thereon, an arm hinged upon said support, and provided a grooved or flanged contflct. device for engaging with a suspendeq conductor, and a tension spring secured so as to rotate with the support, And acting upon the said arm, for holding the contact device In position. (13) A reversible' contact device for ali electric railway vehicle. consisting of: a standard, a rotating support thereon, a contact-carrying arm hinged upon said support, and a tension spring secured so as to rotate with the support, and acting upon the conta,ct-carrying arm, for holding the contact device In poslt1on."
The inventor said in his specification that it related to' improvements invention;whkh formed the, subject .of a. prior ap-
" 87 FE'oliJRALREPORTER.
pliclltionfor whiclFwasfiled March l2;1887.Upon that application, letters pateb.t· No; 495,443 were granted to Van Depoele's administrators on April 11, 1893, which 'described his basic invention for a "long, swinging, pivoted, hinged, and upwardly spring pressedarm, extending from a support on tlie. top of the car, device." i" This invention and equipped with an has' been' frequently described; in the language of an expert witness for the complainant, in the Winchester Ave. Case, 71 Fed. 192, as follows:
It "consists generally In an eletrlc railway, having an overhead conductor, and a car for said railway, provided. with a contact device carried by the car so as to·fhrm a unitary structure'therewith, and consisting of a trailing arm hinged andp!vpted to the car, so as to bl'!dge the. space between it and the conductor, 'and 'move freely'bOth 'laterally and vertically, and said arm carrying at its outer end a contact device capable of being pressed upward QY, a ,sVitaple. teP.SiOll ,with the. underside of the ..". , " :: ". "
Van his as thus constituted 1885; and its and mou'nfM upon cars,at",1'oront()l:iu novelty, its importance,. and are' now thoralthough,dn; J:el3pect to patent which oughly wl,>,re'issued;uponit, the;coul't @:!i.appeals'in thM circuit has field that after the original application was divlded,andwheil the patents w.ere)ssuedlJ,pon, tqe, (iivislqnaJ [applications,; there was not of separat19n, between the claims' of the palent ,ip-tended by the ,soli1btor to ,be the generic one, and its by qi,l'9t ,to "be ,of a ID.qre limitedYh;:tracter. Thus far, in th'e'invention, the, tenaimi device' was so secured' that the arm must be trailed in one directi,on, and there were no means of reversing the contact device, atiIF'tfl'erefore' the car must be reversed at :the. ,.end of the route.. : A very simple means by which Van' Depo'ele' reversed the p()sitionof the contact arm is shown in in'. suit,but. it is!not within. these three claims. Fig. 6 of' A post the central' portion of a'board'which is fastened upon the topofJ'the car. In the the posta forked stem is pivotallY supporteg, between the','extremities of which the contact arm' is secured, OIre end of which 'i!iJ.gilges· the underside of the' con· ductor. To the 'other end of thearirlatension spring is attached, ,which is secured to the board byastationary hook. Theboard 'is, provided witb a similar hook at its opposite end, and the posi· arm can be reversed by detaching the spring .tion of the from one end of the board,. turning the arm upon its pivot, and attaching the spring at the opposite end of the board. This incQnvenient met:p.QIl, of fasteningtne spl'ing required that it should be hooked tOJhe top ,of thecqr, arid ,shopld subseqtlentlybe disengaged therefrom whenever a reversal, was needed. The contact arm should not<'mly be hinged uponrlli'rotating SUppOl't, but the spring the arm, and enable it to havea more free lateral m6vement. Van Depoele made th:e required improvement,-C.-whether before Ol'l;lfter made the one shown. in Fig. 6 is not apparent in the record,-'-andgave, a public experimental test and exhibition of'it, in con:tlectioil'withhis whole'trolley system, at New, 'Orleans,
THOMSON-HOUSTON ELECTRIC CO. V.UNION RY. CO.
in December, 1885. It is described in the three claims which have been quoted, and, as .shown in the drawings, consists in a rotating sleeve around the post at the top of the car, upon which sleeve the contact arm is hinged; and in the attachment: of the spring to the rotating support. The inventor said in his specification, with reference to claims 11, 12, and 13:
"The contact-carrying arm is described and claimed as being hinged and pivoted, by which is meant that the said arm is capable of universal movement upon its pivot. Ordinary forms.of pivoted hinge connections between the arm and its. support are herein shown and described, but it wm be Qbvious that many. different means of affecting a connection capable of the desir.ed freedom of movement might be substituted for what I have shown and described, without in any way departing from the invention."
The improvement was both novel and useful. It permitted a prompt and easy reversal of the apparatus which connected the· car with the conductor, which was an important matter, and it aJsQ permitted a wide or unrestricted lateral movement of the trailing arm. As said by Judge Townsend, upon that patent, in the Winchester Ave. Case, 71 Fed. 192:
"In the first patent in suit, No. 495,443, the spring which maintained the upward pressure of the underrunning wheel was so fastened to the car, or otherwise arranged,as to Interfere with the lateral movements of the swinging arm. By the substitution of this rotatable support, and the attachment of said spring thereto, such movements are unrestricted, because the spring rotates with the support. Furthermore, !tIs unnecessary to turn the car about In ordelrto run It In an, opposite direction, because, the apparatus being reversible, the arm may be so adjusted as to trail 'real'wardly from the supporting post."
The question of widest importance in the case, viz. that of the patentability of the three infringed claims, has already been de· cided in this circuit, in the Winchester Ave. Case, by Judge Town· send, against the present complainant. In that case the patent now in suit and the patent No. 495,443 were both involved, but the complainant thinks that the attention of the parties and the court was especially directed to the· more important and the earlier in· vention, that thus the patentable character of the later invention did not l1ave its proper prominence, and that a more full record has now been presented. Waiving consideration of the fact that ill this circuit these claims have already been submitted to judicial examination, I have endeavored to look at the subject as if it was a novel one, and was not controlled by former adjudication. Van Depoele had before December, 1885, an electric car furnished with his new underrunning trolley equipment; but city and suburban trolley roads cannot easily be furnished with turntables, and it was important, if not necessary, that the contact arm, rather than the car; should be reversed, and that the original underrunning system sl10uld be perfected in that direction. It was a matter of course that the arm should be hinged upon a' rotating support, and it was soon seen that the spring must rotate with the supnort of the arm, or revers'al would be awkwardly ·and slowly accomplished. trhe conception of the result, or of its useful character, is not patentable. The means by which the result is, accomplished are patent·
able; U they, ar!'f 'Of an The j)f the llew JlP:derriQ.pnill.g tr911ey system for the hut the idea p.fpivoiing the conta,ct arm, sup,po,rt, to which the sprilfg is alllQ attached, ratl1f111 to the car; 1p:ust have qeen of the ,1,)J!dinlil'Y wental equipment,of the skilled within, the with mechanic. A railroad turntable,i:qr;a rotating,o,:lDce a tension-.sP811g attachm. tell.tb,e inventor . hOW to make, .hisrotating sUPPor,'4, These are simply instances of the widespl'ead character of i pivQtedtqand rotating supports; and when Van'Depoele had adyanced 'to tIre' poip.t in his improvement where advance and make tQe' ,contact arm he said, freely rotate," the univerllality otmechanism of this sort ,made the mechanical task an easy one. It follows that the conclusions which Judge Townsend reached are confirmed, and that the bill should bp dismissed, with costs.
WESTINGHOUl:?E AIR-BRAKE CO. v. NEW YORK AIR-BRAKE CO. et at (Circuit Court, S.'D. New York. May 9, 18'J8.)
1. PATENTS..,.CON8'J)nu:cnON OF QJ,<AUIS-PRIOR ART.
The Dixon Plttent, 382,032, for ,tnlproveinents ,in ,alt brakes, which describes in, claims 3 of the prior Westinghouse ents and 376,837); co,nslstlng in dispensing with the passage pipe and and locally venting the traip. pipe from ,atn;losphere;, and, Ittqeseclaims areI\oi void for want pf , directly tp npvelty, they are yet technlpal, ratber tban valullc1')le, .'o;nes,and sbQuld not . ,: be extended by construction beYQo,d, their literal imporl
Tbe Westingbouse patent, No. 538,001, for improvements In alr brakes, construed, and held not In1frln.ged. ': " ' ' :
. This equitY.l>lJhe .WestlnghouseAir-Brake C6 IIl : pany ew York others for f!+: leged of f.or improvelllents in air brakes, George H.Christy for compla;inants. Fredk.
W ALLAOE, ,Xhep/ltents wldc:\l this is founded .W(l! for· imprpv:em:ellts in 'akbrakes, .infringement 1egedofeIaims:3a:qd50fJettB,IiS patent No. 382,032, granted May ,1,1888, to Tberon. S.',E. Pix,QJa,apd !9fdaims 5 and 6; of lettersplJ.t; entNo. 538,OO!lj granted 23, r1895, to: Geo:rge, Westinghouse, .. The patent: ,of: ,Dixon, so far as it is fO\lnq in./the two claims in controversy, describes.a modification ot the autQmatic aip brake;ipf the prior to ,GeQrge Westinghouse, J;r.,NQs. 360,070 and 376,837, :whiclLUOllsistl;l. "inqutting off and with fQ.e sage fronI the and brake QyUnderj and locally venting tbe train pipe directly: to the atmosphere through a passage or porU' Westinghol,fseygnted his trainpipejntothe brake cylinder. (, Whatever: theoretical advantages may reside,iQ. the.. modification, the improvements have not been of sufficient value to displace the Westinghouse brake, and those which subject of the two claims are ·of no, cOIllUlerQial What was done by Dixon was to interrupt the passage in the West-