Hall v. Macneal,
107 U.S. 90 (1883)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Hall v. Macneal, 107 U.S. 90 (1883)

Hall v. Macneal

Decided February 5, 1883

107 U.S. 90


1. Whether claim 3 of letters patent No. 67,048, granted to Joseph L. Hall, July 23, 1867, for an "improvement in connecting doors and casings of safes," namely

"3. The conical or tapering arbors, 1, in combination with two or more plates of metal, in the doors and casings of safes and other secure receptacles, the arbors being secured in place in the plates by keys, 2, or in other substantial manner,"

claims arbors which are tapped into two or more plates, or whether it excludes, as a part of it, screw threads cut on the arbors, is immaterial in the present case because, under the former view, the defendants are not shown to have used arbors with screw threads on any part of the arbor within the plates, and, under the latter view, the claim is invalid.

2. The whole invention is described in letters patent No. 30,140, granted to Hall, Sept. 25, 1800, for an "improvement in locks," and a cored conical bolt with a screw thread on it is shown in those letters. A solid conical bolt having existed, adding the screw thread to it is not an invention.

3. Solid conical bolts without screw threads having been used in two safes made and sold by the inventor more than two years before his letters were applied for, the invention covered by claim 3 was in public use and on sale, with his consent and allowance, so as to make the claim invalid under secs. 7 and 15 of the Act of July 4, 1836, c. 357, and sec. 7 of the Act of March 3, 1839, c. 88.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of Ohio.

The case is fully stated in the opinion of the court.

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