« PrejšnjaNaprej »
Opinion of the Court.
four series of said slats are inclined outward in the four different directions, whereby, when the evaporator is set over the furnace, the current of hot air, as it ascends, is directed to the sides of the machine. D D represent the boxes which go to form the walls of the evaporator, and which are open at top and bottom. Each box contains one or more removable trays, b, which rest upon cleats d on the inside of the box. The upper edges of the side bars of each box D are made V-shaped, while in their under edges are made corresponding grooves, so that the boxes will fit close together and can easily be moved back and forth. The outer sides of these side bars of the boxes have two or more horizontal notches, xx, at each end, into which take pivoted pawls h h. These pawls are pivoted to vertically-movable posts or uprights I I, which are connected to the stationary corner-posts B B by means of rods or bars, m, attached to each post I, and passing vertically through eyes i in a groove on the stationary post B. Each movable upright I is provided with a rack-bar, n, and the two rack-bars on the same side of the evaporator are operated by pinions p on a horizontal shaft, H. The two shafts II H, on opposite sides of the evaporator, are operated by worms J J on a shaft, K, at one end of the evaporator; said worms taking into gearwheels L L on the ends of the shafts II II. The shaft K is provided with hand-wheels M M for turning the same.
"In operation, the first box, having its tray or trays filled with fruit, is pushed in over the heater or furnace, and after being there, say about ten minutes, more or less, as desired, it is raised up by the gearing and the pawls h, attached to the movable uprights I, and another or second box similarly filled with fruit pushed in under the first, and the first- lowered down on the second, and so on until twenty or more boxes with trays have been arranged to form the evaporator. It will be noticed that with my mechanism I lift each box independently of the others, so that I can lift a portion above, leaving the boxes of the lower part stationary, by disengaging the pawls below. This enables the operator to examine any one or more of the boxes by sliding them out while those above are suspended.
Opinion of the Court.
"N represents the cover with central stack O. This cover is put on the first box to cause a draft, and it is raised by resting on the top or first box, so that the evaporator is complete at all times, whether one or twenty, or more, boxes are inserted.
"In the cover N is a bottom, P, which does not extend to the outer edges of the cover, thereby causing the vapor and heated air to be drawn from the middle to the sides to dry evenly; and it also aids in carrying off the fumes of the sulphur, when such is used to bleach the fruit.
"I am aware that a fruit-evaporator has been made with upright sliding bars or posts provided with spring-pawls, which pass under the trays to support the same, but in such case the pawls are inaccessible, and none of them can be thrown out of the way; whereas in my case the operator can easily disengage any one or more pawls on each post, so as to lift any one or more boxes, or all the boxes together, as may be desired."
The case was brought to a hearing on pleadings and proofs, the main issue raised by the answer, and contested, being that of infringement. The Circuit Court entered a decree in favor of the plaintiff, awarding a perpetual injunction and a reference as to profits and damages, in pursuance of which a final decree was rendered against the defendant for $1918.97, with interest and costs, from which he has appealed.
The Circuit Court, in its decision, (5 Fed. Rep. 450,) said: "This patent" (the plaintiff's) "is for an improvement in automatic fruit-driers, and its peculiarity and novelty consist in mechanical arrangements and devices by which a stack of trays, fitting into each other, the outer edges of which constitute the outer side of the stack of trays or drying-house, are moved upwards, and suspended by attachments to the lower tray, in order that a fresh tray of fruit can be inserted at the bottom, and the process repeated at pleasure, thus building up the drying-house or stack from the bottom. It is not contended that the patentee is the inventor of the movable trays, the outer walls of which constitute the drying-house. It is admitted that the existence of such trays, for such purpose, is old in the art; but the complainant contends that the patentee is the originator of an idea, which is a novel and useful
Opinion of the Court.
one, of raising the stack of trays from a point on the lowermost tray of the stack, thus making an opening for the insertion of a fresh tray containing fruit, and in this manner building the stack up from the bottom instead of from the top;
. the object and value of the patent consisting not in the use of any special machinery for elevating the stack for the purposes intended, but the elevation and opening of the said stack at the bottom, for those purposes, by any machinery best calculated to attain that end. The court is, therefore, of the opinion, that any attempt by defendant, or any other person, to elevate the stack of trays so constructed as aforesaid, and from a point at or on the lowermost tray thereof, so as to insert new trays at the bottom successively, by any mechanism whatever, adapted to accomplish that purpose, and which is a mechanical equivalent to the means employed by the complainant, is an infringement of his patent.
"The two machines, as will be manifest upon reference to the specifications and drawings in the respective patents, are alike in principle, having a stack in each case composed of sections of trays, fitting upon and into each other, the outer wall of which makes up and forms the exterior of said stack or drying-house; and they are also alike in their purpose and capacity of being moved upward from a point in or on the lowermost tray, and of being suspended in that position, so as to admit the insertion of fresh trays in succession. They are unlike in their respective appliances and devices by which these objects are accomplished, and also in the facility by which intermediate trays between the top and bottom can be removed. The devices by which the trays in the complainant's patent are elevated in the manner described, for the purposes mentioned, are the cord and pulley passing over an upright crane, regulated by a windlass, or wheel and axle, with its ratchet and pawls, the point of suspension . . . being directly over the centre of the stack; and from the ends of the cross-bars to which the rope passing through the pulley is attached, depend ropes or chains, which are attached by hooks to handles upon the lowermost tray to be removed, thus contributing both a
Opinion of the Court.
lifting and suspending device. The machine embodying the defendant's invention exhibits the following means for effecting the elevation of the stack of trays, and their suspension, for the purpose of allowing new trays to be inserted at the bottom, to wit, four movable uprights, each having a series of pivoted pawls, and arranged to slide in four stationary posts, secured in a frame, in combination with a series of boxes, or trays, having notches in their sides, whereby the boxes may be lifted independently of each other, or all together. The power is applied through the medium of two worms, situated at each end of a drum, or shaft, extending along the side of, and at least the width of, the stack to be lifted. These worms engage into appropriate cog-wheels, affixed to two other drums, or shafts, running at right angles to the first-named shaft, on opposite sides of the stack, and extend horizontally the length of the same. Upon each of these lastmentioned shafts are geared, at the ends of the same, small cog-wheels, which, in turn, gear into vertical rack-bars on the four sliding-posts of the machine. The power is applied by means of a crank at the end of the first-named drum or shaft.
"Now, here is undoubtedly a contrivance and device by which the novel and useful invention, first patented in the Reynolds patent, of elevating the stack of trays from a point in or on the lowermost tray thereof, so as to permit, the insertion of a fresh tray at the bottom, is accomplished. It matters not whether this device has the capacity of lifting the upper trays in the series, so as to open the same for inspection or for any other purposes. So long as it accomplishes the purpose, or possesses the capacity, of moving up the whole series of trays from a point on the lowermost tray of the same, so as to permit the introduction of a fresh tray, it is, in that respect, an infringement of the complainant's patent; nor is this conclusion altered because of any supposed advantages gained by the greater facility afforded by the Grier patent in opening the stack at any point above the lowermost tray, for purposes of inspection, or otherwise. The court, upon the best consideration it can give to this subject, has come to the conclusion that the defendant in this cause has used, in the eleva
Opinion of the Court.
tion and suspension of the stack of trays in this drier, mechanical appliances and contrivances which, while they differ somewhat in form from those used by the complainant, are mechanical substitutes and equivalents for the same; and in the use of the same for the accomplishment of the same results as those produced by the complainant's invention, the defendant has infringed upon the exclusive rights secured to the complainant."
The specification of the plaintiff's patent states that the invention "consists in certain details of construction and combinations of parts." The existence in a fruit-drier of movable trays, the outer walls of which constitute the drying-house, being old, the subject of the fourth claim is the arrangement, in a fruit-drier with such trays, of a suspending device connected with the drier in or on the lowermost tray, so as to raise that tray, with all the trays above it, and allow the insertion, underneath all, of a fresh tray, and then lower the trays above it, and couple the suspending device again to the lowermost tray, and so on. This is the effect or result of the mode of operation of the devices. The claim, however, is not for a process, but is only for mechanism. The decision of the Circuit Court seems to be based on the view, that the claim covers all methods of raising the lowermost tray with those above it, if opportunity is given to insert a fresh tray underneath; and that, while the appliances and devices of the plaintiff and defendant are unlike each other, the defendant infringes because he attains the same result, of inserting a fresh tray underneath, while the trays before inserted are moved up and held up by a force. imparted to the lowermost one of them. The decision describes the invention as consisting in "elevating the stack of trays from a point in or on the lowermost tray thereof, so as to permit the insertion of a fresh tray at the bottom;" and it, in effect, regards all mechanism for causing such elevation in such manner as a mechanical equivalent for the patented mechanism, because the result is to allow a fresh tray to be inserted underneath. And this is the view urged here by the appellee.
The defendant introduced in evidence three United States