Corning v. Burden
THIS case was brought up, by writ of error, from the Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern District of New York.
Peter A. Burden, as assignee of Henry Burden, brought his action against Corning and Winslow, for a violation of a patent granted to Henry, as the original and first inventor and discoverer of a new and useful machine for rolling puddle balls or other masses of iron, in the manufacture of iron.
What took place at the trial is set forth in the opinion of the court. Under the instructions of the Circuit Court, the jury found a verdict for the plaintiffs, with one hundred dollars damages; upon which the defendants brought the case up to this court by a writ of error.
It was argued by Mr. Seymour and Mr. Keller, for the plaintiffs in error, and by Mr. Fitzgerald and Mr. Stevens, for the defendants in error.
Each one of the four counsel filed a separate brief. The points presented on the part of the plaintiffs in error are taken from the brief of Mr. Seymour, and those on the part of the defendant in error from the brief of Mr. Stevens.
Points and Authorities submitted on the part of the Plaintiffs in Error.
First exception to the charge.-The court erred in charging the jury that 'the letters-patent which have been given in evidence by the plaintiff are for a new process, mode, or method of converting puddlers' balls into blooms by continuous pressure and rotation of the balls between converging surfaces, thereby dispensing with the hammer, alligator jaws, and rollers, accompanied by manual labor, previously in use to accomplish the same purpose; and the said letters-patent secure to the patentee the exclusive right to construct, use, and vend any machine adapted to accomplish the objects of his invention, as above specified, by the process, mode, or method above-mentioned.'
I. The court erred in charging the jury that Burden's patent was for a new process, mode, or method.
A process or mode may be patented. Curtis, p. 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 73, and cases there cited, from § 77 to § 83.
1. Burden did not patent a process, but a machine.
What he designed to cover by his patent is to be gathered from the patent itself, the specification, and its summing up. Webster on Subject-Matter, p. 18, and note Z; Davoll v. Brown, 1 Woodbury & Minot, 59; Russell v. Crowley et al. 1 Cromp. Meeson & Roscoe, 864; Moody v. Fiske, 2 Mason, 112; Rex v. Cutler, 1 Starkie's Rep. 283; Leroy v. Tatham, 14 Howard, 156, 171; Wyeth v. Stone, 1 Story's Rep. 285; Gray v. James, Peters's C. C. R. 394, 400; Mr. Justice Nelson's Opinion, in Appendix A, annexed.
|This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).|