Consolidated Safety Valve Co. v. Kunkle
Annotate this Case
119 U.S. 45 (1886)
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U.S. Supreme Court
Consolidated Safety Valve Co. v. Kunkle, 119 U.S. 45 (1886)
Consolidated Safety Valve Company v. Kunkle
Argued October 27-28, 1886
Decided November 15, 1886
119 U.S. 45
APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED
STATES FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
In view of the construction given in Consolidated Safety Valve Co. v. Crosby Steam Gauge & Valve Co., 113 U. S. 107, to the claim of letters patent No. 58,294, granted to George W. Richardson, September 25th, 1866, for an improvement in safety valves, and to the claim of letters patent No. 85,963, granted to said Richardson, July 19th, 1869, for an improvement in safety valves for steam boilers or generators, the defendant's safety valves in this case, having no huddling chamber, and no strictured orifice, were held not to infringe either patent.
In equity to recover for infringement of letters patent. The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.
MR. JUSTICE BLATCHFORD delivered the opinion of the Court.
This is an appeal by the plaintiff in a suit in equity to recover for the infringement of two letters patent, from a decree dismissing the bill. The suit was brought in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern District of Illinois by the Consolidated Safety Valve Company, a Connecticut corporation, against Erastus B. Kunkle, on letters patent No. 58,294, granted to George W. Richardson, September 25, 1866, for an improvement in safety valves, and on other letters patent, No. 85,963, granted to the same person, January 19, 1869, for an improvement in safety valves for steam boilers or generators. These are the same two patents which were the subject matter of the litigation involved in the case of Consolidated Safety Valve Company v. Crosby Steam Gauge & Valve Company, decided by this Court at October Term, 1884, and
reported in 113 U. S. 113 U.S. 157. The specifications and claims and drawings of the two patents are set forth fully in the report of that case. The patents were both of them held to be valid and to have been infringed.
The claim of the patent of 1866,
"A safety valve, with the circular or annular flange or lip c c, constructed in the manner or substantially in the manner shown, so as to operate as and for the purpose herein described,"
was construed as covering
"a valve in which are combined an initial area, an additional area, a huddling chamber beneath the additional area, and a strictured orifice leading from the huddling chamber to the open air, the orifice being proportioned to the strength of the spring, as directed."
The claim of the patent of 1869,
"the combination of the surface beyond the seat of the safety valve, with the means herein described for regulating or adjusting the area of the passage for the escape of steam, substantially as and for the purpose described,"
was construed as covering
"the combination, with the surface of the huddling chamber and the strictured orifice, of a screw ring to be moved up or down to obstruct such orifice, more or less, in the manner described."
The decree in the present case was made in January, 1883, and proceeded, as it states, on the ground that the defendant's valves did not infringe the patents. This also appears from the decision of the circuit court, reported in 14 F. 732. As the defendant's valves have no huddling chamber, and no strictured orifice leading from a huddling chamber to the open air, we are of opinion that they do not infringe either of the patents.