Pennsylvania R. Co. v. Locomotive Engine Safety Tr. Co.,
110 U.S. 490 (1884)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Pennsylvania R. Co. v. Locomotive Engine Safety Tr. Co., 110 U.S. 490 (1884)

Pennsylvania Railroad Company v.

Locomotive Engine Safety Truck Company

Argued October 12, 1883

Decided March 3, 1884

110 U.S. 490


The application of an old process or machine to a similar or analogous subject, with no change in the manner of applying it and no result substantially distinct in its nature, will not sustain a patent even if the new form of result has not before been contemplated.

In trucks already in use on railroad cars, the king bolt which held the car to each truck passed through a bolster supporting the weight of the car, and through an elongated opening in the plate below, so as to allow the swiveling of the truck upon the bolt, and lateral motion in the truck, and the bolster was suspended by divergent pendent links from brackets on the frame, whereby the weight of the car tended to counteract any tendency to depart from the line of the track. Held that a patent for employing such a truck as the forward truck of a locomotive engine with filed driving wheels was void for want of novelty.

Suit in equity for alleged infringement of letters patent for an improvement in trucks for locomotives by the employment of pilot wheels to allow of lateral motion to the engine. The defense was 1st., public use for more than two years before the patentee's application; 2d., want of novelty. The court below found that the invention had been in use on cars prior to the patent, but not as applied to locomotives, and a decree was entered sustaining the patent, from which the defendant below appealed.

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