The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 250: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States, August-October, 1918. Page: 1,024
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250 FEDERAL REPORTER
UNITED STATES METAL CAP & SEAT, CO. v. AMERICAN KEYLESS
AMERICAN KEYLESS KAP CORPORATION v. UNITED STATES
METAL CAP & SEAL CO.
(District Court, S. D. New York. April 4, 1918.)
L PATENTS L328---VALIDITY-ANTICIPATION.
The Spengler parent, No 1,074,907, for a bottle-closing cap co, iprlsing a r9Siliret
disk, which utilized the buckling property of metals tc produce a tight closure, held
valid and not anticipated by the earlier Clay patents.
2. PATENTS @m64--VALIDITY--INFRINGEMENT.
Though the claims of an earlier patent were broad enough to include a device dis-
closed by a later patent, the earlier patent is not deemed to have anticipated the
latter, where the device disclosed by it was impracticable and was never commer-
Bill by the United States Metal Cap & Seal Company against the Ameri-
can Keyless Kap Corporation, together with a bill by the defendant against
the complainant in the first suit. Decree for complainant in the first suit,
and bill in the second suit dismissed.
The decree sustaining the complainant's patent was affirmed by the Cir-
cuit Court of Appeals. 250 Fed. 857, - C. C. A. -.
The first suit is for infringement of United States letters patent No.
1,074.907. to Henry Spengler, and the second suit for infringement of the
fourth, fifth, and sixth claims of United States letters patent No. 755,275,
and all of the claims of letters patent No. 755,276, to Francis W. H. Clay.
These patents were all for bottle closures. The application for the first Clay
patent was filed April 13, 1903, and for the second Clay patent was filed Oc-
tober 7, 1903, and each patent issued March 22, 1904. The application for
the Spengler patent was filed June 5, 1911, and the patent was issued Octo-
ber 7, 1913. Bottle closures like the diagrams of the Clay patents have
never been manufactured or sold, but closures exactly resembling the Speng-
ler drawings have been manufactured and sold by both parties, and have
met with reasonable commercial success. That the American Keyless Kap
Corporation is infringing the Spengler patent is admitted, and its case in
both suits rests upon the contention that the Clay patents are anticipations,
or that the Spengler patent is at most only for an improvement.
Stephen J. Cox, of New York City (Frank J. Kent, of New York City, of
counsel), for United States Metal Cap & Seal Co.
Charles Neave, of New York City, for American Keyless Kap Corporation.
AUGUSTUS N. HAND, District Judge (after stating the facts as above).
[1, 2] The Clay patents disclose a bottle closure consisting of a metal stop-
per, which by reason of its resiliency may be buckled inwardly and forced
against a ledge within the neck of the bottle, and removed by buckling in the
reverse direction. I think Clay first devised a method of closing bottles by
utilization of a reversible buckling piece of metal. It is probable, also, that
Spengler employed the same mechanical forces in closing a bottle by a cap
which grasps the neck of the bottle. In other words, each used a cap of resil-
ient metal with a central bulged portion having a circumference with split
edges forming fingers. In either device, when the central bulged portion is
sprung into one position it is on one side of a plane, and when sprung into
the reverse position it is on the other side of the plane. In each invention
there is a bearing surface against which the disc shall buckle. In spite of
the fact that each invention employed similar mechanical forces, I cannot re-
gard Clay as anticipating Spengler. I think much more than mechanical skill
was necessary to adapt a resilient metal cap to the bottle used by Spengler.
It may be that the crown cork and seal stopper in general use, plus a resi-
lient piece of metal, makes the Spengler stopper; but the crown cork and
seal device consisted of a piece of nonresilient metal crimped over the neck,
SFor other cases see same topic & KEY-NUMBER In all Key-Numbered Digests & Indexcs
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The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 250: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States, August-October, 1918., legislative document, 1918; Saint Paul, Minnesota. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc38821/m1/1039/: accessed October 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.