McMurray v. Mallory,
111 U.S. 97 (1884)

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U.S. Supreme Court

McMurray v. Mallory, 111 U.S. 97 (1884)

McMurray v. Mallory

Argued March 11-12, 1884

Decided March 24, 1884

111 U.S. 97


If a patent is granted for a combination, one part of which is of a form described in the patent as adapted by reason of its shape to perform certain specified functions, and the patent is surrendered and a reissue taken which expands some of the claims so as to cover every other form of this part of the combination, whether adapted to perform those functions or not, the reissue is void as to such expanded claims.

A patent for a combination is not infringed by using one part of it combined with other devices substantially different from those described in the patent in form or mode of arrangement and combination with the other parts.

It is not competent for a patentee who has surrendered his letters patent and made oath that he believes that by reason of an insufficient or defective specification the surrendered letters are inoperative and void, and has taken out reissued letters on a new specification and for new claims, to abandon the reissue and resume the original patent by a disclaimer.

The original letters patent to Abel Barker, of May 17, 1870, for an improvement in soldering machines was for a combination of a rod with a disk of a particular form and shape, which was essential to it. In the reissue, the first three claims were so expanded as to embrace all forms of soldering irons in combination with a movable rod, and the reissue was void to that extent. The first claim in the reissue to E. M. Lang & Co., October 29th, 1878, of a

Page 111 U. S. 98

patent for an improvement in soldering irons granted to Jabez A. Bostwick, June 21, 1810, was for a different invention from that described in the original patent, and is void,

This was a suit in equity for an alleged infringement of a reissued patent for improvement in soldering machines. The defense denied the invention and denied the validity of the reissued patent by reason of defects in the surrender, and because the reissue was not for the same invention which was described in the original.

The facts making the case appear in the opinion of the Court.

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