BALL et al. VS. LANGLES et al. 1. Reissued letters patent No. 4,026, granted to Hosea Ball, June 14, 1870, for an improvement in ovens, declared to be invalid, it being for a different invention from that covered by the original patent. 2. The Commissioner of Patents is invested by law with authority to determine whether surrendered patents are invalid by reason of defective or insufficient specifications or by reason of the patentee's claiming as his own invention or discovery more than he had a right to claim as new, and whether these errors have arisen by inadvertence, accident, or mistake, and without fraudulent intention. His decision as to the existence of these prerequisites is conclusive, and not subject to review by the courts. 3. The Commissioner, however, has no authority to grant a reissue embracing new matter or a broader invention than what was revealed in the original specifications, drawings, or models. 4. The question of identity of invention is to be determined by an inspection of the two instruments. 5. Where an original patent described an interior baking chamber as provided with perforations in its sides and back, whereby its interior had communication with the fire space only indirectly through side and back flues, Held, that a reissue removing the restriction as to the .location of the perforations, so that the interior of the chamber may communicate directly or indirectly with the fire space, is void for containing a different invention. Appeal from the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Louisiana. Mr. Justice Strong delivered the opinion of the court. We cannot doubt, says the court, that the purpose of the reissue was not to cure defects in the original specification, or any deficiency in describing the invention, but to cover other devices which the patentee had not in mind when he first applied for his patent, and which may have subsequently come to his knowledge. Thirteen years after the patent was granted had elapsed before he applied for any reissue. However this may be, the reissued letters are so clearly for a different invention from that for which the patentee first applied, containing new matter, and so much broader, that we are constrained to hold that the Commissioner of Patents had no authority to grant them, and consequently that they are void. The complainants' bill was, therefore, rightly dismissed, and the decree of the court below is affirmed, with costs. Large Telegraph Wires. At the recent meeting of the American Electrical Society in Chicago, Col. C. H. Wilson read a paper on the use of large telegraph wires. He held that the employment of large gauge wires for the quadruplex circuit was an advantage. A No. 4 wire recently laid between New York and St. Louis, was giving entire satisfaction. The question had been raised whether, in the desire to increase the conductivity of the wires, there was any limit to their size. There was a limit, and the conductivity could be increased by employing different conductors, copper instead of iron wire, for instance. In a discussion which followed, Mr. Somers advocated the use of large wires, and said that their employment had simplified the quadruplex problem. Phosphor Bronze Telegraph Wires. M. E. Bde, formerly Professor at the Liege University, has recommended the use of phosphor brouze for wires instead of iron, phosphor bronze having four times the conductibili-ty of iron, and being from three to four times as strong as steel. Aerial lines had the advantage of being easily inspected, but the disadvantage of being liable to accident, while underground lines were almost free from accident, but difficult of inspection. That inventor would render great service to telephonic communication who should devise a cheap method of constructing underground lines, that should at the same time permit of easy and complete inspection. Lard Butter. The success of butter made from beef fat (oleomargarine butter) has led to the use in Chicago of pork fat or lard for the same purpose. It has been reported that large quantities of this fraudulent butter have been shipped to England, seriously injuring the market for genuine American butter. The report is disputed by exporters, though it is admitted that sample lots have been sent by New York and Chicago dealers. Obviously if lard butter is wholesome and of good flavor it can be sold on its merits; if bad it should not be sold at all. In either case its sale as genuine butter would be a fraud and should be prevented.
This article was originally published with the title "Patents" in SA Supplements 11, 262supp, 21 (January 1881)