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WORDEN V. SEARLS, 121 U. S. 14 (1887)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Worden v. Searls, 121 U.S. 14 (1887)

Worden v. Searls

Argued March 17, 1887

Decided March l8, 1887

121 U.S. 14


Reissued letters patent No. 5400, granted to Erastus W. Scott and Anson Scads, May 6th, 1873, for an "improvement in whip sockets," on an application for reissue filed January 16, 1873 (the original letters patent, No. 70,627, having been granted to E. W. Scott, November 5, 1867, on an application filed August 23, 1867), are invalid as an unlawful expansion of the original patent.

A whip holder constructed in accordance with the specification and drawings of letters patent No. 70,075, granted to Henry M. Curbs and Alva Worden October 22, 1867, for an "improvement in self-adjusting whip holder," did not infringe the original Scott patent, regarding the Scott invention as earlier in date than that of Curtis and Worden, and the Scott patent was reissued with a view of covering the device of Curtis and Worden.

In a suit in equity on the patent, a preliminary injunction having been granted and violated, the circuit court, in proceedings and by two orders entitled in the suit, found the defendants guilty of contempt, and, by one order, directed that they pay to the plaintiff $250 "as a fine for said violation," and the costs of the proceeding, and stand committed till payment, and by the other order directed that the defendants pay a fine of $1,182 to the clerk, to be paid over by him to the plaintiff "for damages and costs," and stand committed till payment, the $1,182 being chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 121 U. S. 15

made up of $682 profits made by the infringement and $500 expenses of the plaintiff in the contempt proceedings; this Court, in reversing a final money decree for the plaintiff, and dismissing the bill, reversed also the two orders, but without prejudice to the power and right of the circuit court to punish the contempt by a proper proceeding,

Bill in equity to restrain infringement of letters patent and for assessment of damages. Decree for complainant, from which respondents appealed. The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.

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