The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 272: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States and the Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, June-August, 1921. Page: 3
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ARKELL SAFETY BAG CO. V. SAFEPACK MILLS 8
(272 F )
Both plaintiff and defendant are using nothing but a combination of old
elements and producing no new result
"To sustain a patent on a combination of old devices, it is well settled that
a new result must be obtained which is due to the joint and co-operating
action of all the old elemelits." West Coast Safety Faucet Co. v. Jackson
Brewing Co, 117 Fed. 295, 298, 54 C. (C A 533, 536
"It is not invention for a patentee to merely carry forward an old process,
describing it in new terms and adapted equivalent modes under conditions
recognized as possible within the knowledge of any mechanic " Cohn, Rissman
& Co. v. Hickey-Freeman Co. (D. C.) 246 Fed. 256.
The language of Mr. Justice Swayne in Smith v. Nichols, 21 Wall. 112, 119
(22 L Ed. 566), is in point:
"But a mere carrying forward or new or more extended application of the
original thought, a change only in form, pl oportions, or degree, the substitu-
tion of equivalents, doing substantially the same thing in the same way by sub-
stantially the same means with better results, is not such invention as will
sustain a patent. These rules apply alike, whether what preceded was covered
by a patent or rested only in public knowledge and use "
What has been said also covers the so-called lateral extension, either by
running the paper over a curved rod or by the use of a roller Both of these
methods of keeping paper, while in process of manufacture or conversion,
smooth or "laterally extended," are very oWl; the plaintiff has no exclusive
Reference should be made to the testimony of Thomas E. Allen of the
Monroe Felt & Paper Company of Lawrence, Mass, concerning the methods
practiced by him and. his concern in producing crinkled paper as early as
1892. Mr. Allen testified in substance that his company, under his direction,
manufactured commercial quantities of crinkled, stretchable paper at or about
that date. Counsel for the plaintiff attacks this evidence as inadequate to sus-
tain a finding of prior public use, citing, among other cases, Emerson & Norris
Co. v. Simpson Bros. Corp, 202 Fed 747, 141 C. C. A. 113. While, without Mr.
Allen's testimony, I think the same result of a lack of invention would be
reached, yet, as Mr Allen testified before me, and as the court above may re-
gard his testimony as important, I find that Mr Allen was an honest and
reliable witness. I accept his testimony as essentially accurate, and as sufh-
cent to establish all the material facts to which he testified. He produced
crinkled paper made by him as early as 1896
One other point requires consideration. The defendant's counsel is ap-
parently disposed to admit the validity of the claims in patent No. 790,023
referring to a definite predetermined extent of stretching out the crinkles,
as distinguished from an incidental and unmeasured stretching out. He de-
nies that his client uses the plaintiff's method I do not think that the plain-
tiff has made out a case of infringement, assuming these claims to be valid.
But I find it impossible to believe that so natural a mechanical adaptation of
means to ends as so timing the speed of the off-take carrier with relation to
the speed of the in-take carrier as to leave in the crinkled paper the desired
percentage of stretch involves invention Any competent mechanic, accus-
tomed to the numerous rolling processes involved in paper making and paper
converting, would, it seems to me, easily adopt this method
The language of the court in Hover v. Alherton Mach. Co (C. C.) 193 Fed
73, is in point
"The possibility that the thread of one screw might not accurately and
instantly mesh with that of another is not a startling or unexpected situation,
and the means of remedying it are obvious. Any skilled mechanic would ac-
complish it, and that, too, in the only way in which it could be accomplished;
for it is undeniable that, where such a condition exists, one of the threads,
either that of the nut or screw, must be moved sidewise, a distance inot ex-
ceeding the width of the thread, and, once the two members are meshed, there
certainly is no invention in maintaining such relation An ordinary thumb-
screw, spring, weight. or other simple device would accomplish it. The solu-
tion of such everyday problems ought not to be called inventive, and the
grant of a monopoly therefor only tends to check and paralyze invention."
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The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 272: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States and the Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, June-August, 1921., legislative document, 1921; Saint Paul, Minnesota. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc38843/m1/25/: accessed February 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.