Gage v. Herring - 107 U.S. 640 (1883)
U.S. Supreme Court
Gage v. Herring, 107 U.S. 640 (1883)
Gage v. Herring
Decided May 7, 1883
107 U.S. 640
1. Where, within four months before their expiration, letters patent covering a single claim for a combination of several elements are reissued and extended, with the same description as before but containing in addition to the original claim one for a combination of some of the elements only, the reissue is invalid as to the new claim.
2. Letters patent for a combination of several elements are not infringed by using less than all the elements.
3. In letters patent for an improvement in cooling and drying meal during its passage from the millstones to the bolts, the claim was for the arrangement and combination of a fan, producing a suction blast; the meal chest; a spout forming a communication between the fan and the meal chest; a dust room above, to catch the lighter part of the meal thrown upwards by the current of air; a rotating spirally flanched shaft in the meal chest conveying the meal to the elevator; a similar shaft in the dust room conveying the meal dust to the elevator, and the elevator, taking the meal to the bolts. Within four months before the expiration of the letters, they were reissued and extended with two claims, the one a repetition of the original claim and the other for the combination of the fan, the communicating spout, the meal chest with the conveying shaft in it, and the elevator, but omitting the dust room with its conveying shaft. Held that the reissue is valid for the old claim only, and is not infringed by the use of the fan, spout, meal chest with its conveying shaft, elevator, and dust room without any conveying shaft in the dust room or other mechanism performing the same function.
The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.