McCormick v. Talcott
61 U.S. 402 (1857)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

McCormick v. Talcott, 61 U.S. 20 How. 402 402 (1857)

McCormick v. Talcott

61 U.S. (20 How.) 402

Syllabus

The reaping machines made by Manny do not infringe McCormick's patent, either as to the divider, the manner in which the reel is supported, or the combination of the reel with a seat for the raker.

McCormick not being the original inventor of the machine called a divider, but the patentee of only an improvement for a combination of mechanical devices, could not hold as an infringer one who used only a part of the combination.

Page 61 U. S. 403

The manner of supporting the reel in Manny's machine is not like that in McCormick's, and was used before McCormick's first patent.

With respect to the raker's seat, McCormick's patent was for a combination of the reel with a seat arranged and located according to his description. But Manny's arrangement differs from McCormick's in principle as well as in form and combination, and is therefore no infringement of McCormick's patent.

The bill which was filed by McCormick alleged that the defendants in error had infringed his patent for a reaping machine, called upon them for an account, and prayed for an injunction. The defendants denied the infringement and claimed a right to construct their machines under letters patent granted to John H. Manny. The circuit court dismissed the bill, and McCormick appealed to this Court.

McCormick's patents had been twice before this Court, as will be seen by referring to 57 U. S. 16 How. 480, and 60 U. S. 19 How. 96. The same claims, viz., the fourth and fifth of the patent of 1845, were involved in the case in 19 How. and the remaining claim, viz., that relating to the seat of the raker, under the patent of 1847, was before the court in 16 How. only that it now comes up under a reissued patent in 1853.

The reporter despairs of giving any intelligible account of the argument in this case. The record was upwards of one thousand pages of printed matter, of which seven hundred and fifty pages were the depositions of witnesses, and the courtroom was filled with models and drawings, introduced upon either side, to which constant reference was made by the counsel.

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