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is a part of the service of the country so as to be a known thing, tion of a prior in that case he cannot claim the benefit of his patent; and in parte
substance of the claiming the benefit of a patent, it is required that there shall invention, will be enrolled a specification, which shall convey to the public a vitiate. corresponding advantage with that of the individual whose sole right is protected for that time, so that any person looking at a Specification specification, who is skilled in the subject, may be able to accomplish the end; and if in stating the means necessary to the pro- sons skilled in duction of that end, he oversteps the right, and appropriates the su more than is his own, he cannot avail himself of the benefit of it. I don't mean if he states a bobbin which was in common use before, but if he states any particular thing before in common use, applied in a new manner to the production, and effecting a new end, that is part of the substance of the invention. And if the insertion he states that which of itself is not new, but old and known to fu
W matters will the world, though it was unnecessary for him to do so, having vitiate a specidone so, he has overstepped his right, and has included in his “
nification. invention that which is not his invention; in that respect his patent would be void. It is for you, applying these observations to the present patent, of Mr. Belfour and of Mr. Huddart, to say whether this is a new invention, whether the springs are substantially a part of the invention, and if they be, whether they are new. It is likewise to be considered whether the tube is a new invention: and the next consideration, supposing you should be of opinion that it is a new invention, and old means adapted to the production of a new effect, whether the defendant has been guilty of an infraction of the patent; and I premise these observations for your better understanding the evidence.
The first piece of evidence is a letter, dated “ Patent Ropery, Evidence for near Sunderland, 21st August, 1779. Our Mr. Grimshaw has plaintiff. just got home, and has informed us of your friendship to him, for which please to accept our thanks. He also informed us, that you have a patent for improvements in rope-making, and that you were so obliging as to say, that we might use your methods (at our ropery only) without premium, provided that the gentlemen concerned with you had no objections. As we are anxious to forward any improvements in the manufacturing of an article of so much importance to this maritime country, we take the liberty of requesting you will please to inform us, whether we may consider ourselves at liberty to proceed in the adoption of your inventions.” Now, to be sure, no argument arises upon the face of this letter, that they knew and admitted that the invention of Mr. Huddart was a new invention, unless they were perfectly cognizant of all its parts at that time. But that does not appear from this letter; it does appear, that this man had visited their manufactory, and after he had got home, he wished to have the liberty of using their invention; that liberty is refused by a letter of the 29th: “Gentlemen, your
letter of the 21st has been communicated by Captain Huddart (who is now on a survey) to the other gentlemen in the concern. Apprehensive a grant to you might lead to an invasion of our patent from other quarters, in justice to ourselves, after the considerable expense that has been incurred, we feel ourselves under the necessity of refusing your request.” These letters are in 1799. Now, there is a letter since, so late as 15th July, 1800: “Gentlemen, after your application to Captain Huddart, for liberty to use his patent methods of making ropes, and our refusal to permit the same, it has greatly surprised us to receive information (as we have lately done), that you have introduced those methods of making ropes into your manufactory without our license, and even against our consent; and that you use and vend ropes so manufactured in considerable quantities, in violation of the exclusive privileges granted by the said patent, and consequently to our great loss and injury. We should be sorry to be engaged in a litigation on this subject, especially with your house. It would give us great pleasure, if you could satisfy us that we were misinformed: but fearing that is not the case, and being resolved to protect our property in the most effectual and decisive manner, and to suffer no encroachment on, or violation of, those rights which we constantly respect in others, we think it proper to give you notice, that unless you henceforth desist from the use of Captain Huddart's patent above mentioned, and make us proper acknowledgments for what is past, we shall immediately cause the necessary proceedings to be instituted against you for our protection in future; and to obtain a compensation in damages for the injuries we have already sustained." This is a letter giving them notice, that necessary measures would be taken against them, to obtain a compensation in damages. In answer to this, there is a letter of the 230 July, in the same year: “Sir, we have received your letter of the 15th instant, and as we believe that we have not introduced into our manufactory any methods for making ropes, in which you are entitled to an exclusive privilege, we conclude you are misinformed on that point; but, being equally with yourselves desirous of avoiding litigation, if you will inform us the instances, or in what parts you suppose us to have infringed on your patent rights, we may, perhaps, be able to convince you, that there is no foundation for the charge. At the same time, to show you how little we are disposed to be litigious, we have for some time past remarked, that there are parts of Captain Huddart's specification strictly within our prior patents, which we have refrained from noticing, because we would avoid contention as much as possible.” Then there is another letter of the 14th July, 1801: “ Gentlemen, being informed that you carry on your manufactory of ropes in a secret manner, and as you refused me admission when I called upon you at the ropery, and having seen
some ropes that were made by you, I am convinced, by the A.D. 1803. inspection of those ropes, as well as by your secret manner of conducting your business, that you are making use of my patent method of registering the strands of cordage, as described in the specification of my patent of the year 1793, and am therefore desirous that your manufactory should be inspected on my behalf by my friend Mr. John Rennie, engineer, whom I introduce for that purpose. Your answer and conduct on this occasion will enable me to determine in what light to consider you and your proceedings in this matter; and unless I shall hereafter be better satisfied with the fairness and rectitude of your transactions than I am at this time, I shall commence and carry on against you such proceedings in law or equity, or both, as counsel shall advise.” That letter is no further material, than as it contains this complaint against them, and desiring to see their manufactory, which was refused.
The first witness called on the part of the plaintiff is Mr. Stodday, book-keeper to the defendants, who has been in that situation better than six years. He says, “From 1797 to 1800, he was acquainted with their manner of making ropes; they then made ropes in the common way, in an open rope-walk; he is not acquainted with the manner in which they now make their first strand; a rope is composed of three strands; I was advised with before in the common way; although I live with them as before, I do not know in what mode their ropes are now made; I am not acquainted with the manner of making Mr. Huddart's ropes.” Upon cross-examination he says, up to 1800, the defendants made their strands in the common way, in a ropewalk. To be sure, no imputation lies upon them for not communicating to their own workmen so important a discovery, as that the business of a rope-walk should be carried on in so small a space as is represented. “A common rope-walk,” he says, “must be the full length of the yarn; they make it now in an enclosed place not the twentieth part of a rope-walk.” Upon being re-examined, he says, he saw the strands after they were made, and in opening out the strands, he observed a difference between the ropes made by them and the common ropes. In those, he says, made by his masters, the yarns all bear an equal proportion of strain, which is not the case with common ropes.
Mr. John Rennie is then called: he says, he is an engineer Mr. Rennie's by profession; that he is acquainted with the subject of rope- evidence. making; that, by the old mode, the yarns for the strands are cut of the same length; they are stretched on the ground, previous to being twisted. When the twisting took place, some of the yarns took one station in the strand, and some another ; those nearest the outside, passing over a large space in the operation of twisting, were necessarily brought to a considerable degree of tension, while the yarns towards the centre of the
strand become puckered up. The effect was, that when a strain was put upon the rope, the external yarns sustained the weight, and those towards the centre sustained no part of the weight; when the strain, therefore, was put upon the rope, the outside yarns having been brought to a great degree of tension, naturally gave way first; those in the next degree of tension gave way next, and so on, till the centre yarns, which were originally puckered, came to bear the weight. The number of yarns being diminished, of course those in the centre were unable to sustain the weight. He says, the common rope gave way in the manner I have stated; in the wearing of a rope the outside yarns wear first, then the second set of yarns, and so on; a much less weight would break them in this state than would otherwise break them; and this continued, that is the unequal strain continued, down to Mr. Huddart's patent. He says, “I have examined the patent and specification with attention; it appears to me to have provided a perfect remedy for this defect by a new method. The specification and drawing annexed to it will enable a man of science to understand the method, and how it should be carried into effect." He says, “I have attended to the manner of constructing strands upon Mr. Huddart's plan.” He assumes that the yarns to be manufactured have been usually put on bobbins; they are then passed singly through a plate, which is called a register plate, composed of holes formed in concentric circles; they are then passed through a cylindrical tube, which may be either solid or composed of two semicircular pieces; the tube is the most essential part of the invention; the yarns passing through the register plate are formed into one strand by this tube; being disposed in concentric circles, they take the same relative position in the tube which they had before in passing through the holes, and in that state of relative position the strand is composed of concentric circles or shells of yarns, the outside shell being of a larger diameter; the second shell or layer being of less diameter than the outside layer, the yarns are so much shorter; each layer diminishes gradually till they come to the centre, which consists of a single yarn the length of the strand. I have examined some that have been so manufactured, and the strand being composed of compressible materials, if it were broke in the state in which it came from the registering machine, the centre yarn would break first, that next to the centre would break second, and the outside yarn would break last; the outside shell of yarns surrounding a considerable body of hemp when it is brought to a degree of tension, the outside yarns compress the body of them within, and by this compression the angle is diminished, and they become longer; the centre yarn being at its full length snaps first, then the next, and so on. In order to prevent this difficulty, Mr. Huddart has contrived a mode of what he calls setting up or hardening; after the strand comes
from the register he gives it an additional twist, and by this A.D. 1803. means the centre yarn becomes one-eighteenth part shorter, the outer yarns from the centre are set up proportionably to the centre, and by that means compressing the whole mass, each yarn is brought to a greater degree of tension than when it came from the registering machine, so that a weight being put upon the strand before it breaks, it lengthens as much as it had contracted before, and when it breaks the whole snaps together.” He says the patent rope, upon an experiment he tried, bore a weight of 17 tons, 5 cwt. and I qr., and that a rope made in the common way, of the same materials, bore only 8 tons, 13 cwt. 1 qr. and 4 lb; and he says the patent rope broke all at once, and the oldfashioned rope snapped on the outside first, then the next yarn, and so on to the centre. He says this is a most important improvement. He says he should have no difficulty in constructing the necessary machinery for making a rope upon Mr. Huddart's plan, by looking at the patent and the specification. That is material to show that the specification is sufficiently explicit to enable a person of skill in the subject, upon reading it, to accomplish the purpose it professes to execute. Some rope of the defendant's manufacture being put into his hands, he says, if this is made upon Mr. Huddart's construction, the yarn that is on the outside at first will be the outside throughout the whole length of the strand, and will be the longest yarn; the second shell will be the next longest, and so on to the centre, which will be the shortest. He says, I know of no other mode but Mr. Huddart's for producing this effect, and in proportion as that is deviated from, the strands will be worse; this exhibits to the eye that regular gradation of length in the different shells which he should expect to find in Mr. Huddart's invention. The external yarn is two inches longer than the piece of strand; the second is somewhat shorter than the first, and taking a yarn out of the third, he says that is half an inch shorter than the second; and taking a yarn out of the centre, he says it is a little longer than the strand, owing to the setting up; and the result he draws is, that he believes this to be made upon Mr. Huddart's method. And I should state that this is certainly what is the similarity of called prima facie evidence of its having been made by that structure in two
things is premethod, when one sees it agree in all its qualities; when it is sumptive eviproduced with a rope actually made upon Mr. Huddart's plan, de
all, being made in it is prima facie evidence till the contrary is shown that it was the same way. made upon his method, and, therefore, as against him it should seem, supposing this patent in full force and a valid one, it is reasonable fair evidence, in the absence of contrary evidence, to presume that it was made in that way. There is certainly great weight in the observation of the counsel,“ am I to come forward and divulge my mode of making rope, from which I reap a great advantage?” Whether it was necessary to have gone that length