212 F. 403 (1st Cir. 1914), 1033, Linscott Supply Co. v. Hopewell

Docket Nº:1033.
Citation:212 F. 403
Case Date:February 13, 1914
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

Page 403

212 F. 403 (1st Cir. 1914)




No. 1033.

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit.

February 13, 1914

Appeal from the District Court of the United States for the District of Massachusetts; Frederic Dodge, Judge.

Suit in equity by Charles F. Hopewell against the Linscott Supply Company. Decree for complainant, and defendant appeals. Reversed.


The Hopewell patent, No. 854,215, and the Kinder patent, No. 881,411, each for a cover or case for spare tires carried on automobiles, to protect them from water and dirt, consisting of an enveloping strip or ring of any suitable material of a width sufficient to inclose the tire and overlap its tread face and one of its sides, and having at its edge a pocket through which a gathering cord is run to hold the cover in place, both held void for lack of patentable invention.

Page 404

William K. Richardson, of Boston, Mass. (Edwin P. Corbett, of Columbus, Ohio, on the brief), for appellant.

W. Orison Underwood, of Boston, Mass. (Clarence C. Colby, of Boston, Mass., on the brief), for appellee.

Before PUTNAM and BINGHAM, Circuit Judges, and ALDRICH, District judge.

ALDRICH, District Judge.

The Hopewell and Kinder patents at issue relate to a case, or cover, designed for the protection of spare tires carried on automobiles. The Hopewell patent is numbered 854,215, and the Kinder patent is numbered 881,411.

The case, or cover, is described as one which shall twice overlap the tread-face of the tire and one side thereof. The purpose of the cover in question is to protect the tire against water and dirt, and the claims, speaking generally, cover an annular tire case adapted to overlap.

It is said in the specification of the Hopewell patent:

'It will be noticed that the tire case is ring-shaped, or made as a ring; that is, without an end.'

It is urged on one side that the feature of an endless cover involves an essential idea, and one which should be accepted as presenting a substantial element of a patentable invention; while, on the other hand, it is contended that it is not an element of substance; that it was not so considered by Hopewell at the time he applied for a patent; and that if it had been deemed an essential element the idea of an endless strip would have been expressed in some of the claims.

There is considerable weight in the proposition that, if Hopewell had relied...

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