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The patent was for machinery for preparing and spinning cotton and other fibrous matter : it was objected that the specification was not clear, and could not be acted on, neither could any person ascertain what the invention was.
It was held that the law had established the right of patents for new inventions, and that that law was extremely wise and just.
It was also held, that one of the conditions of the patent was, that a specification should be enrolled, stating the nature of the invention. The object of which was that after the term was expired, the public should have the benefit of the invention ; when that condition was not complied with, the patentee forfeited all the benefits he would otherwise derive from the great seal.
It was argued for the defendant that the patentee having failed to establish the validity of the patent in a previous case, the world at large considered he had abandoned the patent, and therefore the defendant did not infringe. It was held that if the question was what damages Mr. Arkwright should receive, then it would be proper to admit evidence to show to what extent persons had acted on the faith of the former verdict.
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There are many objections that may be taken to a patent, but the only one in this case was, that the specification was not so intelligible that those who were conversant with the subject were capable of understanding it. The clearness of the specification must be according to the subject-matter of it. It is addressed to persons in the profession having skill in the subject, not to men of ignorance, and if it is understood by those whose business leads them to be conversant with such subjects, it is intelligible.Per Lord Loughborough.
Beaumont et als, v. George . . . .
The patents in this case had been taken for refining sugar by the use of charcoal, and the proprietors of these patents had applied for, and obtained, an injunction to restrain the defendant from using the inventions, which on application was dissolved, the defendant having sworn that he used the process three months before the date of the patent. It was held that great inconvenience to his Majesty's subjects must arise from the imperfect nature or doubtful interpretation of the rights of patentees. The question was simply, whether the patents were good or not, and that was clearly
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a question of law. If they should be determined good, damages might be recovered to the extent of their violation, not only by the patentees, but by the persons who had obtained licenses from them.- Per Lord Eldon.
37 | 1 Bro. C. C.,578;
Webs. R., 430.
Beck, ex parte , · · · · ·
The sealing of a patent, after it arrived at the Great Seal, was delayed by a Caveat. The patentee imagined, with out looking at the grant, that it was dated on the day the Caveat was dismissed, but found it dated on the day the Privy Seal Bill was left in the Court of Chancery, and he applied to have the date altered. It was held that it was not in the power of the Keeper of the Great Seal to take the seal off a patent. -Per Lord Thurlow.
Beeston v, Ford · · · · · ·
The patent was granted for improvements in ships' cabooses, and the patentee had enjoyed the exclusive use of the invention for seven years. The ViceChancellor had dissolved an injunction obtained er parte. On an appeal, the judgment of the Vice-Chancellor was reversed, although his Lordship entertained great doubt as to the validity of the patent; but on the previous authorities, a patentee having had so long an exclusive right, ought not to have that
right disturbed.—Per Lord Lyndhurst. Benyon, Campion, v. . ..... Beverley, Crossley, v. .... Bloxam v. Else . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . The patent was for making paper by applying a continuous sieve surface of wire cloth in place of the square handsieves before used. It was objected, that the specification was insufficient. It was ruled that a patentee was not bound to describe his invention wholly by words; but, if by drawing, aided by description, the invention was rendered clear to a skilful mechanic, the patent would be supported.-Per Lord Chief Justice Abboit. The patent had come into the hands
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of assignees under a bankruptcy. It was contended, that the assignees were trustees for all the creditors, who were numerous, and exceeded the number of five allowed by the proviso in the patent, and, therefore, the patent was bad. Held that the clause only applied to the acts of the parties, and not to acts of law,Per Lord Chief Justice Abbott.
Theassignees represent the proprietors of the patent, and not the creditors. Per Mr. Justice Bayley and Mr. Justice Holroyd.
The patentee having in his specification represented that paper of any width might be made, and that not being the fact, the patent was held to be bad.
Boot, Hall, v. · · · · · · ·
A patent was granted containing the usual proviso, that a specification should be enrolled within four months: on application to the Lord Chancellor, the patentee was allowed to enrol a sealed specification.
Boulton and Watt v. Bull. . . .
117 | 2H.Bl., 463; Dav.
P. C., 162; 3 155
| Ves. Jun., 140.
The patent was granted for a method of lessening the consumption of steam and fuel in fire-engines. The invention consisted in condensing in a separate vessel, in place of condensing in the working cylinder; also, in clothing the working cylinder, so as to keep it hot; also, for using an air-pump for removing the uncondensable vapours; there were also other minor points. It was contended, that the patent was for a principle, and not a manufacture; and if it was for a method, then a method could not be protected by a patent. Held, that it was for an engine or a machine. A principle is the first ground and rule for arts and sciences; or, in other words, the elements and rudiments of them. A patent must be for some new production from those elements, and not for the elements themselves. A principle reduced to practice can only mean a practice founded on principle, and that practice is the thing done ; or, in other words, the manufacture which is invented. Whether the manufacture be with or without a principle produced
Before the granting of this patent, the lace-machines in use worked in such manner, that a series of threads on bobbins placed in their carriages, were caused progressively to move from selvage to selvage of the fabric, and in doing so they were each caused to pass around and twist with each succeeding warp-thread, the warpthreads constituting the longitudinal threads of the fabrics of the lace, bobbin or carriage-threads, forming the diagonal threads. By the present patent, the manner of working the thread was reversed, the warp-threads became the diagonal threads, and the bobbin or carriage-threads constituted the straightdown threads of the fabrics of lace. The specification simply described the ma. chinery, without stating what was new and what was old. It was held that if a patentee is acquainted with better means of carrying out his invention than he discloses in his specification, the patent is bad; but, if the improvement be discovered after the specification, the patentee may apply that improvement, and his patent will not be affected. And where a patentee claims by his specification more than is new, or more than is the invention of the patentee, the patent will be bad. If the invention by the patentee be only an improvement, then the setting out the whole machine as the invention claimed, would render the patent void.
2 A. and E., 295;
4 N. & M., 264
Bowman v. Taylor et al . . . . .
In this case, the defendants had taken a license under a patent granted to the plaintiff. The license recited that the plaintiff “bad invented” the improvements for which the letters patent were granted. It was held on demurrer, that the defendants could not plead, in an action to recover patent dues, under the license, that the invention was not new;