Heald v. Rice
104 U.S. 737 (1881)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Heald v. Rice, 104 U.S. 737 (1881)

Heald v. Rice

104 U.S. 737

Syllabus

1. The specification (infra, pp. 104 U. S. 738-742) forming part of the original letters patent, No. 146,614, granted to Harvey W. Rice, Jan. 20, 1874, for an improvement in steam boilers, and that forming part of the reissued letters, No. 6422, issued to him May 4, 1875, show that the original and the reissued letters are not for the same invention. The latter are therefore void.

2. The said letters were anticipated by letters No. 135,659, dated Feb. 11, 1873, the reissue whereof, No. 6420, bears date May 4, 1875, and by letters No. 139,075, dated May 20, 1873, all of them granted to David Morey for a straw feeding attachment for furnaces.

3. The question of the identity of an invention described in the original and the reissued letters patent is one of law for the court whenever it can be determined solely from their face by mere comparison, without the aid of extrinsic evidence to explain terms of art or to apply the descriptions to the subject matter.

The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.

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