87 F.2d 702 (2nd Cir. 1937), 163, Textile Mach. Works v. Louis Hirsch Textile Machines, Inc.

Docket Nº:163.
Citation:87 F.2d 702, 32 U.S.P.Q. 471
Case Date:February 01, 1937
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Page 702

87 F.2d 702 (2nd Cir. 1937)

32 U.S.P.Q. 471




No. 163.

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

February 1, 1937

Darby & Darby, of New York City (Samdel E. Darby, Jr., and Walter A. Darby, both of New York City, of counsel), for appellant.

Howson & Howson, of Philadelphia, Pa. (Dexter N. Shaw and Charles H. Howson, both of Philadelphia, Pa., of counsel), for appellee.

Before L. HAND, SWAN, and AUGUSTUS N. HAND, Circuit Judges.

L. HAND, Circuit Judge.

This is an appeal from a decree holding valid and infringed claims 1, 3, 14, and 15 of a patent for an attachment to a 'full-fashioning' knitting machine by which parts of the web may be reinforced with an extra thread, or varied by an insert of 'split seam work.' In 'full-fashioning' machines the width of the web depends upon the traverse, or 'throw,' of the thread carrier which brings the thread to the needles; 'fashioning,' which means narrowing or widening the web, is accomplished by changing this distance. The mechanism by

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which this is made automatically to conform with the desired pattern, need not concern us except to say that the width of the web is the distance between two stops at the ends of the machine, less the length of 'carrier bar' upon which the thread carrier is fixed. This difference measures the traverse of the 'carrier bar,' and thus of the thread carrier. The patented attachment is to control the 'throw' of secondary thread carriers, feeding other threads to the needles and fixed upon their own bars. The 'throw' of these carriers is limited by stops fastened upon the carrier bars and engaging other stops carried by two nuts, which are in turn threaded upon a reversibly threaded screw shaft. When the 'throw' of the secondary thread carriers is to be changed in any way these nuts must move along the screw shaft; and if the 'throw' is to be widened or narrowed their distance apart must be increased or diminished, which can be done by rotating the screw shaft. The patent is concerned for the most part with the mechanism which rotates the screw shaft at the proper time and in the proper direction. It is impossible to give a complete description of it without the aid of drawings, but enough for the purposes of this controversy may perhaps be made to appear verbally. The screw shaft is actuated by the main power shaft and its proper periodicity and rotation are secured by two endless belts carrying buttons, set at intervals corresponding with the desired pattern. One of these belts determines when and for how long the screw shaft shall rotate; and the other, its direction. At one end of the screw shaft are oppositely toothed ratchet wheels, each actuated by a pawl normally kept in contact with its wheel by a spring. The shaft is rotated by the oscillation of these pawls through a system of rods, levers and cams, leading from the power shaft. As one of the buttons on the belt comes into position, by this train both pawls begin to oscillate, and if each remained in contact with its ratchet, the shaft would merely idle back and forth through an angular variation of one notch. In order to throw one pawl out of engagement and gain any increment of rotation, a separate train is necessary, controlled by the second pattern belt, which lifts the proper pawl off its wheel when the right time comes. In this way the screw shaft separates or brings together the nuts whose stops engage the stops upon the carrier bars, and limit the 'throw' of the secondary thread carriers.

The four claims in suit need not be set out. Numbers fourteen and fifteen are the most detailed; they specify as elements the screw shaft ('spindle '), with its nuts, pattern control for rotating it, and another pattern control for selecting the direction. The defendant's attachment, which is used upon 'full-fashioning' machines, is in general of the same character, and all the claims will read upon it without any undue extension, although the trains employed are different. Verbally the only question that could arise is because the defendant used a single pattern belt, on which...

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