10 D.C. 460 (D.C.D.C. 1879), In re Application of Funk

Citation10 D.C. 460
Opinion JudgeCARTTER, Ch. J.
Party NameIN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF JOSEPH FUNK FOR THE REISSUE OF LETTERS-PATENT No. 184,855, GRANTED NOVEMBER 28, 1876, FOR IMPROVEMENTS IN LAMPS.
AttorneyC. S. Whitman , for appellant. J. H. Peirce , for the Patent Office.
CourtSupreme Court of District of Columbia

Page 460

10 D.C. 460 (D.C.D.C. 1879)

IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF JOSEPH FUNK FOR THE REISSUE OF LETTERS-PATENT No. 184,855, GRANTED NOVEMBER 28, 1876, FOR IMPROVEMENTS IN LAMPS.

Supreme Court, District of Columbia.

September Term, 1879

The deflector or jacket located between the outer wick-case and the chimney-holder in the light-house lamp, described in letters-patent No. 184,855, granted to Joseph Funk November 28, 1876, is not found in the Brandywine Shoals burner, upon which it has been rejected, and the public use of such latter lamp is no bar to a claim and patent for said deflector.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE.

Joseph Funk, of Tompkinsville, New York, obtained letters-patent of the United States No. 184,855, November 28, 1876, for certain improvements in lamps, relating particularly to that class of lamps known as Fresnel or concentric wick-burners, used extensively for the illumination of light-houses.

April 13, 1877, Funk offered to surrender his original patent into the Patent Office, and requested that it might be reissued to him in corrected form, according to the provisions of the statute. (Rev. Stats., 4916.)

Certain clauses of claim made by him in his reissue application were found to be met by the invention of one H. H. Doty, patent No. 109,303, November 15, 1870; and, upon request of the applicant Funk, an interference was declared between said Doty and himself (Rev. Stats., sec. 4904) to determine the question of priority of invention.

During this interference, the lamp which had been used for several years in the Brandywine Shoals light-house, off the New Jersey coast, was introduced in evidence, and was considered to have anticipated the substantial features of both patents. The interference was thereupon dissolved by the Acting Commissioner, and the reissue refused. Funk pursued his remedy by appeal to this court, and he here presents six claims, which are set forth in the opinion of the court.

Of these claims the first, second, and fifth had been refused by the Patent Office because of the Brandywine Shoals burner, which was thought to contain substantially the same features of construction specified in each of said claims. At the hearing, counsel for the applicant (Funk) admitted the sufficiency of the reference so far as it affected claims one and five, but insisted that claim two was for subject-matter not found therein, and for which he was justly entitled to a patent; and in this claim...

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