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U.S. Supreme Court

Clark v. Beecher Manufacturing Company, 115 U.S. 79 (1885)

Clark v. Beecher Manufacturing Company

Argued April 17, 1885

Decided May 4, 1885

115 U.S. 79


Letters patent No. 66, 130, granted to James B. Clark, June 25. 1867, for an "improvement in the manufacture of blanks for carriage thin shackles," are not infringed by the manufacture of blanks for shackles in accordance with letters patent No. 106,225, granted to William B. Smith, August 9, 1870.

The features of the Clark patent are that, by dies, the arms of the blank are bent into an oblique direction, and the body into a curved form, so that the parts where the arms join the body are rounded on the outside as well as the inside, and that when subsequently the curved body is straightened, there will be in it sufficient metal to form sharp outside corners by being pushed out into them.

The arms of the Smith blank are not bent in an oblique direction, its body is not curved, the parts where the arms join the body are not rounded, either on the inside or on the outside, and in afterwards straightening the back, surplus metal is not pushed toward or into the corners to form them, but the existing corners, already formed, are forced further apart by driving surplus metal into the back between the corners.

In view of the state of the art and the terms of the Clark patent, it must be confined at least to a shape which, for practical use in subsequent manipulation, has a disposition of metal which causes a sharp corner to be formed in substantially the same way as by the use of his blank.

This was a bill in equity to restrain an infringement of a patent. The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.

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