U.S. Supreme Court
Crouch v. Roemer, 103 U.S. 797 (1880)
Crouch v. Roemer
103 U.S. 797
1. Reissued letters patent No. 4289, granted March 7, 1871, to George Crouch, for an improvement in straps for shawls, are void, by reasons of the prior knowledge and public use of the invention which they describe.
2. The substitution of a known equivalent for one of the elements of a former structure is not patentable.
This is a suit in equity by George Crouch against William Roemer to prevent the infringement by the latter of reissued letters patent No. 4289, granted March 7, 1871, to the complainant for an improvement in straps for shawls.
Among the defenses set up by the respondent was the want of novelty and the prior public use of the invention described in the letters. The remaining facts are stated in the opinion of the court.
The court below sustained the defense and dismissed the bill. Crouch thereupon appealed.