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Essay on US Court Decisions on Patents in the 1890s

Patent Court Cases, 1893
photo  acknowledgement to Markus Winkler on Pexels

U.S. Cicuit Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Ex Parte Moses

Decided December 27th, 1892.

Witness, subpœna Duces Tecum, Authority of Clerk, Patent Office Interference Pooceedings.

Sec. 4906, Revised Statutes, providing that, on the application of any party to a contested case pending in the Patent Office, the clerk of any Federal Court shall issue a subpœna for a witness, commanding him "to appear and testify," does not include an authority to issue a subpœna duces tecum. societies.

Statement of the Case.

Rule to show why an attachment should not issue against George Stuart for contempt in refusing to produce certain letters in obedience to a subpœna duces tecum issued by the clerk in an interference proceeding pending in the Patent Office.

The subpœna was issued under section 4906, Revised Statutes, which reads as follows,

Sec. 4906: "The Clerk of any Court of the United States for any district or territory wherein testimony is to be taken, for use in any contested case pending in the Patent Office, shall, upon the application of any party thereto, or of his agent or attorney, issue a subpœna for any witness residing or being within such district or territory, commanding him to appear and testify before any officer in such district or territory authorized to take depositions and affidavits, at any time and place in the subpœna stated; but no witness shall be required to attend at any place more than forty miles from the place where the subpœna is served upon him.

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Decision of ther U.S. Courts

Supreme Court of the United States—Lowell Manufacturing Company, Limited, v. Caro, et al.

Decided March 6th, 1893.

Patent—Process of tempering springs, double use.

Letters, patent No. 116,266, to Alanson Cary, June 27th, 1871, for an improvement in modes of tempering springs, which consists in subjecting the spring to a temperature of 600 degrees, held, in view of the prior development of the same principle in the manufacture of wire bells for clocks, and of hair balance springs, to be invalid on the ground of double use.

2. Better Result or Wider Range of Use.—The public cannot be deprived of an old process because some one has discovered that it is capable of producing a better result, or has a wider range of use than was before known. (Citing Smith v. Nichols, 21 Wall., 112; Roberts v. Rye, 91 U.S., 150; Hollister v. Benedict Mnfg. Co., 113 U.S., 59.)

3. Double or Analogous Use.—It is not patentable invention to apply old and well-known devices and processes to new uses in other and analogous arts.

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Of the reciprocity treaties negotiated with the countries in this hemisphere, those with the Spanish West Indies (Cuba included) and Brazil are so far productive of excellent results. A study of the exports shows large increases. Despite the reported rumors of a desire to nullify the treaty with the Spanish-West Indies, the opinion of a large and conservative export house in New York is that, barring the reimposing of a duty on raw sugar, nothing of the kind is likely to happen.

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About this article

This page is note legal advise. This article is a reprint of an existing article from Engineer and Inventor, April 1893. It is the intent of this website to present this article in human and machine readable form. Format and editing changes have been made. This article is provided for the purpose of enjoyment only. Statements in this article were relevant to the published period and may not be applicable in current times.