94 U.S. 92 (1877), Consolidated Fruit-jar Co. v. Wright

Citation:94 U.S. 92, 24 L.Ed. 68
Case Date:January 29, 1877
Court:United States Supreme Court

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94 U.S. 92 (1877)

24 L.Ed. 68




United States Supreme Court.

January 29, 1877

APPEAL from the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.

This is a bill in equity filled by the Consolidated Fruit-Jar Company to restrain the alleged infringement by the defendant of letters-patent No. 102,913, issued May 10, 1870, to John L. Mason, for an 'improvement in fruit-jars,' and of which the complainant, by mesne assignments, is the owner. The court below, upon hearing, dismissed the bill; whereupon the complainant appealed here.

The facts are set forth in the opinion of the court.


Mr. John H. B. Latrobe for the appellant.

Mr. George Gifford, contra.

Letters-patent No. 102,913, issued to John L. Mason, May 10, 1870, for an 'improvement in fruit-jars,' are void: first, because there was a purchase, sale, and prior use of the invention more than two years prior to the application for a patent; second, because at the time of such application the invention had been abandoned to the public.


MR. JUSTICE SWAYNE delivered the opinion of the court.

This is a case in equity brought by the appellants to enjoin the appellee from infringing a patent issued by the United States to John L. Mason, on the 10th of May, 1870, 'for an improvement in fruit-jars,' of which patent the complainant is the assignee.

The disclaimer and claim of the patent are as follows:----

'Separately considered, I do not claim a metallic flexible screw-ring or cap, C, for holding a cover on a preserve-jar, nor an external gasket receiving-shoulder upon preserve-jar, except when such

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gasket-shoulder is at the top of a continuous glass screw; neither do I claim the combination of a screw-ring cap with a packing-ring, so applied to a jar that a portion or the whole of such packing-ring is exposed within the jar, nor when the gasket-shoulder is at the base of the glass screw, as in my patent of 1858; but----

'What I do claim as new, and desire to secure by letters-patent, is----

'The combination, first, of the shoulder, b, to receive a gasket outside and a little below the top of the jar; second, of the cover, B, with the rim, d, extending down outside of the top, to press upon the gasket, C; and, third, of the screw-ring or screw-cap, C, with its screw-threads operating upon those of the jar below the gasket-shoulder,--all substantially as above set forth and described.'

The screw-cap, C, is described in the patent as made of...

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