Grier v. Wilt - 120 U.S. 412 (1887)
U.S. Supreme Court
Grier v. Wilt, 120 U.S. 412 (1887)
Grier v. Wilt
Submitted January 24, 1886
Decided March 7, 1887
120 U.S. 412
In view of the state of the art, claim 4 of letters patent No. 190,368, granted to Asa Quincy Reynolds, May 1, 1877, for an "improvement in automatic fruit dryers," namely,
"4. In combination with a fruit dryer, the outer wall of which is made up of the frames of the several trays, as explained, a suspending device, operating substantially as described, and supporting said dryer from a point in or on the lowermost tray thereof, for the objects named,"
is not infringed by an apparatus constructed in accordance with the description in letters patent No. 221,056, granted to George S. Grier, October 28, 1879, for an "improvement in fruit dryers."
In a suit in equity for the infringement of letters patent, prior letters patent, though not set up in the answer, are receivable in evidence to show the state of the art, and to aid in the construction of the claim of the patent sued on, though not to invalidate that claim on the ground of want of novelty when properly construed.
This was a bill in equity to prevent the infringement of letters patent. Decree for a perpetual injunction, from which the defendants appealed. The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.