Brookfield v. Novelty Glass Mfg. Co.

Decision Date16 September 1904
Citation132 F. 316
CourtU.S. District Court — District of New Jersey

Kenyon & Kenyon and George W. Mills., Jr., for complainants.

Walter H. Bacon and Thomas Mackenzie, for defendant.

LANNING District Judge.

This hearing comes before the court on the return of a rule to show cause why the defendant the Novelty Glass Manufacturing Company and its officers, Daniel M. Parker, Clement W Shoemaker, Jonathan W. Parker, R. Elmer Shoemaker, and Thomas C. Duffield, should not be punished for contempt of court. The contempt alleged is the violation of an injunction issued in this cause on October 29, 1903, restraining the Novelty Glass Manufacturing Company, its successors and assigns, and each of its officers, servants, agents, attorneys, employes and workmen, from any construction, sale, or use in any manner of the patented improvements in presses for making screw-insulators in violation of the rights of the complainants, or of presses for making screw-insulators embracing the improvements described in the complainants' patent.

The bill of complaint was filed in June, 1901. An opinion was rendered by Judge Bradford August 15, 1903. The complainants contend that the defendant company and its officers above named should be adjudged guilty of contempt because of their use, first of a certain form of press which appears to have been patented by Thomas C. Duffield on March 24, 1903; and second, of a modified form of the Duffield machine.

The proofs show that the Novelty Glass Manufacturing Company was incorporated in January, 1901, and that between the date of its incorporation and May 14, 1903, it used different forms of presses, one or more of which was the subject-matter of litigation in the case of Brookfield v. Novelty Glass Manufacturing Co. (C.C.) 124 F. 551. In that case the defendant did not deny that the machines it had been using embodied the principles described in the complainants' patent, and it set up as its only defense that the patent was invalid.

There is nothing in the proofs before me to show that the modified form of the Duffield machine was ever used at any time by the Novelty Glass Manufacturing Company. In fact, that company closed its business and its property was sold under foreclosure on December 8, 1903; and the only proofs before me on the use of the modified form of the Duffield press are to the effect that that form was used, not by the Novelty Glass Manufacturing Company, but by the Elmer Glassworks, in the month of April, 1904.

The question as to whether the other machine-- that is, the Duffield patented machine-- is an infringement upon the complainants' patent, is not a subject-matter of litigation between the complainants in this case and the Elmer Glassworks. I cannot find the officers of the Novelty Glass Manufacturing Company guilty of contempt for the use of this machine, without, in effect, adjudging that it is an infringement upon the complainants' patent. I have just refused a preliminary injunction in the case between the complainants and the Elmer Glassworks (132 F. 312), for the reason that there is substantial doubt upon the question of such infringement. It therefore...

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