Eachus v. Broomall
115 U.S. 429 (1885)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Eachus v. Broomall, 115 U.S. 429 (1885)

Eachus v. Broomall

Argued October 27, 1885

Decided November 16, 1885

115 U.S. 429

Syllabus

In a suit in equity to restrain alleged infringements of a patent, where no notice has been given under Rev.Stat. § 4920 and no prior use or knowledge of the invention is specifically set up in the answer as a defense, evidence of the state of the art at the date when the application for it was filed may be received for the purpose of defining the limits of the grant in the original patent and the scope of the invention described in its specification.

The invention patented to James Eachus August 26, 1873, by letters patent No. 142,154, was a machine, and, as construed by the Court, is not the invention described in reissued letters patent No. 6315 to him dated March 2, 1875, as a process. The latter application having purposely enlarged the claim, the reissue falls under the condemnation declared in Powder Co. v. Powder Works,98 U. S. 126.

The bill in equity, which was dismissed on the merits by the decree appealed from, was filed by the appellant to restrain the alleged infringement of reissued letters patent No. 6315, dated March 2, 1875, based on the original patent, No. 142,154, dated August 26, 1573, issued to James Eachus, the complainant.

The specification forming part of the original patent, as set out in the record, is as follows:

"Be it known that I, James Eachus, of Coatesville, in the County of Chester, State of Pennsylvania, have invented a new

Page 115 U. S. 430

and useful machine for cutting paper boards, of which the following is a specification:"

"The nature of my invention consists in combining six adjustable circular saws upon two shafts, set at any angle to each other, and a two-way carriage supported by a frame and provided with guides so as to work easily and carry the material to be cut. The object of the invention is to trim and cut heavy paper used in the manufacture of books and boxes."

"Figure 1 is a front view of my invention; Fig. 2, a side elevation, and Fig. 3, a ground plan."

"In Fig. 3, E is the frame, which should be strongly constructed, and in the form of an L. B B and T T are guides on frame E. A is a two-way carriage constructed in such a manner as to play freely upon guides B B and T T. D and F are saw shafts mounted upon adjustable bearings bolted to frame E. C C C and S S S are circular saws, secured upon shafts D and F by adjustable collars."

"For the purpose of operating my machine, shafts D and F are provided with pulleys P P. Rotation is communicated by belts H H, Fig. 2, from a shaft G, on which are pulleys P' P'."

"Upon carriage A, Fig. 3, is placed the wet paper to be cut. The pile is composed of a number of large sheets, as they are taken from the paper machine. The carriage is then drawn upon the guides B B, saws S S S cutting through the paper; thence at right angles to the first direction upon guides T T, saws C C C cutting through the pile in the new direction, the result of the operation being to trim the edges and cut each sheet in four."

"The saws can be adjusted upon shafts D and F so as to trim and cut the sheets to any desired size."

"I make no claim to the arrangement of circular saws and carriages working upon guides for the purpose of cutting logs, blocks of wood, wood of any kind, or any other material except paper, but"

"I claim the combination of shaft D shaft F, saws S S S and C C C, carriage A and frame E for the purpose of cutting binders' and boxmakers' paper, substantially as shown and described. "

Page 115 U. S. 431

The drawings referred to are as follows:

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The drawings accompanying the specification, which form part of the reissued patent, are the same as the original except one described as Fig. 4, which was added, but is unimportant.

Page 115 U. S. 432

The specification of the reissued patent is as follows:

"Be it known that I, James Eachus, of Coatesville, in the County of Chester, and State of Pennsylvania, have invented a new and improved process of cutting paper boards, of which the following is a description, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, in which --"

"Figure 1 is a front view of my machine for conducting my process. Fig. 2 is a side elevation of such machine. Fig. 3 is a top view, and Fig. 4 is a detail of a saw in the act of cutting."

"Similar letters of reference indicate corresponding parts in the several figures. "

"The object of this invention is to trim and cut heavy paper used in the manufacture of boxes and books, and it consists in subjecting the paper while in a wet state, as it is taken from the papermaking machine, to the action of circular cutters having serrated edges, whereby the sheets are cut evenly and economically, and the trimmings can be returned to the paper machine without regrinding or other treatment."

"In the annexed drawings, I have represented one practical form of a machine for conducting my process, but I desire to be understood as not confining myself to the precise construction of such machine nor to the number of serrated cutters shown."

"In Fig. 3, E designates the frame, which should be strongly constructed. B B and T T are guides on frame, E. A is a two-way carriage, which is constructed in such manner as to play freely on the guides B B and T T. D and F are saw shafts, which are mounted upon adjustable bearings bolted to frame E. C C C and S S S are circular saws or cutters, having serrated edges, adapted for the purpose intended, which saws are secured upon shafts D and F by adjustable collars."

"For the purpose of operating this machine, shafts D and F are provided with pulleys P P. Motion is communicated by belts H H, Fig. 2, from a shaft G, on which are pulleys P' P'. The paper to be cut is put upon the carriage A. The pile is composed of a number of large sheets as they are taken from the papermaking machine in a very wet condition. The

Page 115 U. S. 433

carriage is then drawn upon the guides B B, saws S S S cutting through the paper; thence at right angles to the first direction upon guides T T, saws C C C cutting through the pile in the new direction, the result of the operation being to trim the edges of the sheets and cut each sheet into four parts."

"The saws can be adjusted on shafts D and F so as to trim and cut the sheets any desired size."

"It will be seen from the above description that I take sheets of paper, while they are in a wet condition, directly from the papermaking machine and pass the saws over them, thereby trimming their edges and leaving them of an equal thickness throughout and dividing them into smaller sheets. This process of sawing cannot be performed successfully and without tearing the surface of the sheets unless the sheets are wet and in the condition in which they leave the papermaking machine."

"I make no claim to the arrangement of circular saws and carriages for the purpose of sawing logs or any kind of wood; nor do I broadly claim the machine herein described for sawing wood."

"I am aware that paper board has heretofore been sawed when in a dry state, and I therefore lay no claim to such invention, which leaves the edges of the paper thus sawed in a jagged condition, the action of the saw teeth tending to separate the fibers of the paper board in the line of the kerf, whereas when the paper board is sawed in a wet state directly after leaving the paper-machine, the edges are left smooth, the saws causing an interlocking of the fibers in its path through the paper and the trimmings of the paper being in a condition to be returned to the vat without regrinding, which would not be the case with trimmings of paper board sawed in a dry state."

"What I claim as new and desire to secure by letters patent is the process of sawing paper board as herein described, consisting in sawing the paper board while it is in the wet state in which it is taken from the papermaking machine, substantially as described and for the purpose set forth."

The only defenses set up in the answer are a denial of the

Page 115 U. S. 434

validity of the reissued patent, and a denial of the alleged infringement.

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