97 F.2d 736 (9th Cir. 1938), 8745, Angle v. Richardson

Docket Nº:8745.
Citation:97 F.2d 736, 38 U.S.P.Q. 451
Party Name:ANGLE et al. v. RICHARDSON. S.S. WHITE DENTAL MFG. CO. et al. v. RICHARDSON et al.
Case Date:June 16, 1938
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Page 736

97 F.2d 736 (9th Cir. 1938)

38 U.S.P.Q. 451

ANGLE et al.






No. 8745.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

June 16, 1938

Page 737

Lyon & Lyon, of Los Angeles, Cal. (Henry N. Paul, Jr., of Philadelphia, Pa., and Frederick S. Lyon, of Los Angeles, Cal., of counsel), for appellants.

Thomas A. Reynolds and Wilbur D. Finch, both of Los Angeles, Cal. (J. Calvin Brown, of Los Angeles, Cal., of counsel), for appellees.

Before GARRECHT, HANEY, and STEPHENS, Circuit Judges.

STEPHENS, Circuit Judge.

The plaintiffs, Anna Hopkins Angle and the S.S. White Dental Manufacturing Company, a corporation, filed their bill of complaint in the District Court as owner and licensee respectively of Letters Patent No. 1,584,501, 1 granted to Edward H. Angle May 16, 1926, charging infringement by the defendant Sidney Richardson.

The trial court found for the plaintiffs and ordered an accounting and no appeal has been taken. Prior to the trial in the matter just mentioned, the defendant, having first secured leave, filed a bill of cross-complaint against the mentioned plaintiffs claiming that they had infringed patent No. 1,976,141, granted Oct. 9, 1934 to himself and Charles Edward Boyd. The grant to Boyd was as the assignee of a one-half interest in the patent. The trial court found in favor of cross-complainants and against cross-defendants on claim 2 of such patent and none other and ordered an accounting. The cross-defendants appeal from the judgment entered therein.

Both patents above mentioned relate to a metal tie-bracket but a small fraction of an inch in width, length and thickness. In use it is affixed to a band of metal which is placed around a tooth. A wire or arch-bar anchored at each end engages the central slot in the bracket. There is also an upper and a lower notch in the bracket. The arch-bar runs around the dental arch and is secured in the central slot by wire ligatures. It is an appliance used in the moving of malposed teeth to proper positions.

(Image Omitted)

Tie Bracket (greatly enlarged).

Base A, B, C, (D not shown) attaches to band around tooth.

Arch-bar (shaded area) fits into slot.

Fine wire, not shown in cut, loops around end notches of bracket.

The trial court found the Dr. Angle patent valid and infringed by the Richardson patent. However in the cross-action,

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the Richardson patent was held valid as to claim 2 thereof and infringed by cross-defendants. Claim 2, as cross-complainant in his brief has separated it into lettered clauses, is as follows:

'2. The herein described method of producing a one piece orthodontic band bracket, which consists

'(a) in first cutting a transverse slot in the top face of a block of hard tough metal

'(b) and then simultaneously cutting transverse slots in the end portions of said block and substantially parallel to said first slot

'(c) said cutting of said block in each instance being so effected as to retain the fibers and molecules in the uncut portions of said block in their original positions without distorting and stretching the same.'

Dr. Angle was an orthodontist, a teacher of orthodontia and an inventor of appliances for 'straightening' teeth. In the experimental stages he used a circular saw in a jeweler's lathe to cut his brackets from wire. The evidence shows that he sometimes cut the end notches first and sometimes the top or central slot first.

A letter dated Aug. 26, 1925 signed by Dr. Angle and addressed to White Co. contained the following: 'This (model) bracket was sawed from a metal bar rolled, drawn and milled.'

Dr. Edw. J. Gromme, graduate of the Dr. Angle school, testified that he observed Dr. Angle making experimental tie-brackets in the year 1925. He testified as follows as to the method employed:

'wire of specific dimensions was passed through this plate and under the hold-down, and carried against the saw, so that the slot could be cut in proper position. In cutting the grooves, these brackets were made in one long strip, the grooves for the arch receiving slot and the grooves for the ears of the bracket were cut longitudinally to the strip of wire. The wire was usually about eight inches long. There was not any specific routine for cutting the piece, I don't believe. I did not observe whether he cut the ears first, or whether he cut the arch receiving slot first. Sometimes they were cut one way-- from the samples we have we could see they were cut sometimes one way, and sometimes the other. The samples that were found were clippings or cuttings from the lathe, which Dr. Angle kept as a matter of historic interest.'

Drs. Allen G. Brodie and Chas. E. Boyd, both Angle school graduates, testified that they used the Angle tie-brackets in 1926.

After the patent was granted to Dr. Angle (patent No. 1,584,501, May 11, 1926) the S.S. White Dental Manufacturing Company acquired and exercised the licensee right to manufacture the brackets and market them to the trade and has ever since retained and exercised such right. White Company began making the bracket by saw-cutting but soon changed the method so as to produce the bracket by a stamping process from 'clasp' metal. This process broke down the fibers or disarranged the molecular formation of the metal to some extent so that the bracket was less strong than the milled or lathed bracket. Under pressure it would sometimes spread and thereby interfere with the desired 'pull' upon the tooth under treatment.

Sidney Richardson is a metallurgist and after meeting Dr. Angle at the latter's school began to experiment upon a possible improvement upon the Angle bracket. He, with some advice from Drs. Steiner and Boyd, worked out a model of bracket designed to withstand a greater pressure than the White stamped bracket. He compounded an alloy having a greater degree of hardness and toughness than that used by White Company. The Richardson product did not differ from the Angle bracket in principle and differed but slightly in design. The principal difference in design being that a...

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