205 F.2d 28 (5th Cir. 1953), 14247, E-I-M Co. v. Philadelphia Gear Works

Docket Nº:14247.
Citation:205 F.2d 28, 97 U.S.P.Q. 508
Case Date:June 12, 1953
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Page 28

205 F.2d 28 (5th Cir. 1953)

97 U.S.P.Q. 508

E-I-M CO., Inc.



No. 14247.

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.

June 12, 1953

As Modified on Denial of Rehearing July 20, 1953.

James B. Simms, Houston, Tex., Browning & Simms, Houston, Tex., for appellant.

Henry N. Paul, Jr., and Francis W. Sullivan, Philadelphia, Pa., Douglas W. McGregor, Houston, Tex., for appellee.

Before HOLMES, BORAH and RUSSELL, Circuit Judges.

RUSSELL, Circuit Judge.

Other questions were involved and decided in the trial court, but the only issues presented by this appeal are restricted to that part of the trial court's finding and judgment that claim 2 of Ball patent, No. 2, 114, 013, was valid and infringed by the appellant's valve control. For many years dual control valve operators capable of operation by a handwheel situated on the valve, or automatically, by a motor, usually electric, operated by remote control have been advantageously employed and used in refineries, waterworks, power plants and the like. Such dual control operation was not satisfactory or safe, largely for the reason that it involved a geared relationship between the hand wheeled shaft and the motored shaft so that there was ever present an element of danger and injury to an operator at the scene attempting to use the handwheel while another operator, at a remote station, pushed a switch and set in motion the power drive. The Ball claim of invention related to the solution of a twofold problem in connection with such valve operations. This is well stated by the court in its finding of fact No. 3. 1 The applicant stated the main object of the invention to be: 'to convert ordinary hand-operated value units into power operated units in such a manner that the valve can be selectively operated by power or by hand. * * * Another object is to devise a suitable arrangement of clutch and clutch operating means for selectively changing from

Page 29

manual to power operation, and vice versa. In more specific terms, one object is to provide improved functional and structural coordination between the manual and the power operated mechanism, so as to avoid a coincidence of manual and power operation whereby an operator manipulating the valve stem by means of a handwheel may come to grief by the rotation thereof when the power is started as by remote control.' Claim 2 of the patent here involved is set forth below. 2 The claim of novelty of result procured by the combined elements is the provision, in a value control capable of selective manual or power operation, of a means whereby the impulse of the power-driven mechanism would serve, first, to release the hand operated drive, and, secondly, to connect the motor operated drive. This was accomplished by providing a clutch holding mechanism in combination which means for allowing the clutch to be released automatically from handwheel engagement by the impulse of the motor driven mechanism and thereafter shifted automatically into operative engagement...

To continue reading