Though right to an injunction and profits be clear, it appears, from the following decision, that a provisional injunction will not be allowed to the prejudice of an established business if the patentee haa delayed enforcing Ms right an unreasonable time. George B. Corliss vs. The Dry Dock Boiling Mill, Ingham Coryell, and John Thompson.—KELSON, C. J.—This is a motion for an injunction to restrain the defendants from infringing the patented invention of the com-jjlainant for a certain " new and useful improvement in cut-off and working valves of steam engines." The patent is dated March 10, 1849. The suit is founded on a reissue dated July 12,1859, and which was extended by the ?Commissioner of Patents for seven years from the 10th of March, 1863. This jpatent has heretofore been under our consideration in the case of Corliss vs. The Wheeler & Wilson Manufacturing Company, in the district of Connecticut, September, 1861. In that case the main defense rested upon a patent granted to Noble T. Green, the 13th of March, 1855. A decree was rendered in favor of the complainant. The defense in the present case rests mainly upon a patent granted to William Wright, dated November 20, 1866. The present suit was commenced in June, 1868. The patent on which it is founded expires on the 10th of March, 1870, within about a year and nine months after the commencement of the suit, and some seven months hence. There is no suggestion or evidence before us that the defendants are irresponsible or unable to pay any amount of profits that may be ultimately recovered against them, on the final hearing of the case, upon the pleadings and proofs ; and, in the absence of such evidence, however satisfied we may be as to the right of the complainant to such profits and to an injunction against infringement, if the application had been made at an earlier period of the terra of the patent, we think it would, be unreasonable, andnot agreeable to the course of proceeding in equity in the case presented, to interfere and break up the establishment and business of the defendants. On the above grounds we must deny the motion.
This article was originally published with the title "Injunction in Patent Cases" in Scientific American 21, 11, 172 (September 1869)