Fireball Gas Tank Co. v. Commercial Acetylene Co.,
239 U.S. 156 (1915)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Fireball Gas Tank Co. v. Commercial Acetylene Co., 239 U.S. 156 (1915)

Fireball Gas Tank & Illuminating Company

v. Commercial Acetylene Company

No. 13

Argued October 22, 1915

Decided November 29, 1915

239 U.S. 156


A process may be independent of the instruments employed or designed to perform it, and the expiration of a foreign patent for the one may not affect the United States patent for the other.

In this case, held that the patent of complainants for acetylene gas tanks is distinctly for an apparatus, while the foreign patents which have expired and are claimed by defendant to be identical are explicitly for methods.

There having been conflicting opinions of different circuit courts of appeal on questions of invention and infringement, as well as the effect of expiration of foreign patents, held that there was no abuse of discretion in the granting of an interlocutory injunction, but that, while there is no identity between complainants' patents and expired foreign patents pleaded by the defendant, all other questions should be reserved for the trial of the cause.

The facts, which involve the propriety of issuing an interlocutory injunction in a suit for infringement of patents for acetylene gas apparatus, are stated in the opinion.

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