PARKS V. BOOTH, 102 U. S. 96 (1880)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Parks v. Booth, 102 U.S. 96 (1880)

Parks v. Booth

102 U.S. 96


1. Reissued letters patent No. 1826, granted Nov. 29, 1864, to Jonathan L. Booth for a new and useful improvement in grain separators, are valid.

2. A specification describing an invention consisting merely of a new combination of old elements or devices which produces a new and useful result is sufficient if they be specifically named, their mode of operation given, and the result pointed out, so that those skilled in the art and the public may know the extent and nature of the claim and what the parts are which co operate to do the work claimed for the invention.

3. Where, in a suit for the infringement of letters patent for such a combination, the parts of which are not susceptible of division or separate use, the answer sets up that the complainant is not the first and original inventor of it, the defense, to be available, must apply to the combination as an entirety, and not to a part of it, or to one or more of the claims of the letters, if they do not cover the entire invention.

4. A patentee is not entitled to reimbursement for counsel fees paid or expenses incurred by him, other than his taxable costs, nor to interest on the profits realized by an infringer.

This was a suit by Jonathan L. Booth, against George Parks, Grant B. Turner, William A. Taylor, and James Vaughan, partners, under the name and style of Turner, Parks, & Co., for an alleged infringement of the complainant's reissued letters patent, for an improvement in grain separators.

The letters were a second reissue. The original letters, No. 25,484, were granted to Booth Sept. 20, 1859; reissued Sept. 25, 1860, No. 1043; and again reissued Nov. 29, 1864, No. 1826.

The court rendered a decree May 9, 1874, adjudging that the letters were valid, that the defendants had infringed them, and that the complainant recover the profits, gains, and advantages which the defendants received, or which accrued to them since Nov. 29, 1864, by the manufacture, use, and sale of the improvements described and secured by the reissued letters, and also such damages, if any, in addition to profits as he sustained by reason of said infringement. The case was referred to a master to ascertain the damages and profits, who filed his report Nov. 24, 1875, awarding to the complainant, on account of profits, $9,944.09; and as damages, being expenses of conducting

Page 102 U. S. 97

the suit, $627.20; and compensation for the complainant's time, $420; making in all, $10,991.29.

To this report the complainant and defendants filed exceptions, which were overruled, saving that made to the allowance for his time. The Master's report, as thus amended, was confirmed Dec. 15, 1876, and a final decree rendered against the defendants for the sum of $11,184.42, being the amount found due by the amended report, with interest thereon.

From that decree the defendants appealed.

The remaining facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.

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