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HUBBELL V. UNITED STATES, 179 U. S. 77 (1900)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Hubbell v. United States, 179 U.S. 77 (1900)

Hubbell v. United States

No. 19

Argued January 9-10, 1899

Decided October 22, 1900

179 U.S. 77


An examination of the history of the appellant's claim shows that, in order to get his patent, he was compelled to accept one with a narrower claim than that contained in his original application, and it is well settled that the claim as allowed must be read and interpreted with reference to the rejected claim and to the prior state of the art, and cannot be so construed as to cover either what was rejected by the Patent Office or disclosed by prior devices.

This Court concurs with the court below in holding that the cartridges made and used by the United States were not within the description contained in the appellant's claim.

On December 28, 1878, William Wheeler Hubbell filed in the United States Patent Office an application for a patent for an improvement in metallic cartridges, and on February 18, 1879, letters patent No. 212,313 were granted and issued to him. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 179 U. S. 78

On April 19, 1883, Hubbell, the patentee, filed a petition in the Court of Claims against the United States, alleging that the latter were using his patented methods in circumstances that warranted a claim for compensation. This case was numbered in the Court of Claims as No. 13,793, and was so proceeded in that, on June 1, 1885, judgment was entered in the Court of Claims dismissing the petition. 20 Ct.Cl. 354. In August, 1885, an application for allowance of an appeal from that judgment to this Court was filed. Pending this application, Hubbell brought another suit against the United States in the Court of Claims by filing a petition, No. 16,261, on June 11, 1888, presenting substantially similar issues to those asserted in the first suit.

On December 23, 1895, judgment was entered by the Court of Claims dismissing the petition in the second case. 31 Ct.Cl. 464. On March 20, 1896, an application for allowance of an appeal from this judgment to this Court was filed, and on July 6, 1896, this appeal was allowed. On May 31, 1898, the judgment of the Court of Claims dismissing the petition in the second case was approved by this Court. 171 U. S. 171 U.S. 203.

On June 7, 1898, the application for allowance of appeal in the first case was allowed, and on May 31, 1898, a petition was allowed to be filed in this Court for a rehearing in the second case. The appeal in the first case and the petition for a rehearing in the second case were argued together in this Court on January 9, 1900.

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