DOBSON V. HARTFORD CARPET CO., 114 U. S. 439 (1885)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Dobson v. Hartford Carpet Co., 114 U.S. 439 (1885)

Dobson v. Hartford Carpet Company

Argued April 2, 1885

Decided April 20, 1885

114 U.S. 439


In a suit in equity for the infringement of a patent for a design for carpets where no profits were found to have been made by the defendant, the circuit court allowed to the plaintiff, as damages, in respect to the yards of infringing carpets made and sold by the defendant, the sum per yard which was the profit of the plaintiff in making and selling carpets with the patented design, there being no evidence as to the value imparted to the carpet by the design. Held that such award of damages was improper and that only nominal damages should have been allowed.

Where a bill founded on a design patent with a claim for a pattern and separate claims for each of its parts is taken as confessed, it alleging infringement of the "invention," the patent will be held valid for the purposes of the suit.

Page 114 U. S. 440

The joinder of such claims in one patent does not per se invalidate the patent or any claim at the objection of a defendant.

A claim of "the design for a carpet, substantially as shown," refers to the description and the drawing, and is valid.

An objection that a patent for a design is for an aggregation of old ornaments and embodies no "invention" is concluded where the bill alleges infringement of the "invention," and is taken as confessed.

Where the master reported no profits, and nominal damages, in a suit in equity for the infringement of a patent for a design, and, on exception by the plaintiff, the circuit court allowed a sum for damages and this Court reversed its decree, the plaintiff was allowed costs in the circuit court to and including the interlocutory decree and the defendant was allowed his costs after such decree.

These were all suits in equity for alleged infringements of patents.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.

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