Page:Omnibuses and Cabs.djvu/243

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223
Pirate Headers

decaying vehicles to start similar conveyances. Cabs painted and lettered in close imitation of the new patented vehicle were soon as plentiful as the real ones. Some proprietors who prided themselves on being very smart, always had the word "not" painted in very small letters before the inscription, "Hansom's Patent Safety," believing that this would save then from being prosecuted. They were mistaken, for the company made a determined effort to protect its rights, and commenced legal proceedings against the infringers of its patent. In every case the company was successful, and heavy damages were awarded it, but the victories were barren ones, for on almost every occasion the infringer of the patent turned out to be a man of straw. So when the Company had spent £2000 in lawsuits, and had succeeded only in obtaining payment of one fine of £500, it came to the conclusion that the wisest thing it could do would be to refrain in future from litigation. That was a splendid thing for the "pirate" cabs, who now dispensed with the word "not" and appeared similar in every respect to the real "Hansoms," as the Chapmans were called. When the company took over Chapman's cabs it had painted on them