For a long time a keen litigation has been going en between Henry Burden of the Troy Iron and Nail Factory, and Corning, Winslow Homer, of the Albany Iron and Nail Works, respecting the infringement of Burden's pa tent for making hook-headed spikes by ma chinery. Burden's first patent was dated in 1840. In 1842 he brought a suit against Cor ning, Winslow Homer, for violating said patent, which suit resulted in a verdict ol $700. A motion for a new trial having been overruled, the verdict was carried into a final judgment against the defendants. In 1848 having reason to believe that Messrs. Corn ing, Winslow Homer continued t use his patent, Burden brought a suit, and filed a bill for a perpetual injunction and damages, in the United States Circuit Court for the Northern District of New York. The validity of the patent was again sus tained, but the injunction was not granted, the defendants alleging that they had a license to manufacture. Burden appealed to the U. S. Supreme Court, and prayed ; that the Court would enjoin the defendants, Corning, Homer Winslow, their attorneys, and agents, and workmen, to desist from making, using, or vending any machine, containing the improve ments for which letters patent were granted to Burden on the 2nd of September, 1840, and from selling or using any spikes which they then had on hand, which had been manufac tured by their machines, containing the im provements of that patent; and that an ac count of the profits which they have derived from the use of such patented improvements; should be made." The Court, in giving their decision, say that the license, permit,or instrument set up by the defendants, in their answer and defence, and under which they claimed to manufacture, was not a license; and touching the other al legations in the bill, the Court say they wero all " either proved or admitted by the answer of the defendants." " In every point of view," says the Court," which we can take ot this case, we think that the defendants have in fringed the patent lor making hook or brad-headed spikes, with Burden's bending lever. We shall direct the decree of the Court below to be reversed, and shall order a perpetual in junction, to enjoin the defendants from using the machine with Burden's bending lever in the manufacture of brad headed spikes, and shell remand the case to the court below, with directions lor an account to be taken, as prayed for by the appellants." This case having been remanded to the Court below (the U. S. Court ot the Northern District of New York) it becomes the duty of this Court, without discretion, to execute the injunction and decree of the highest court in the land. At its next term, probably in June next, there will be an examiner or commis sioner appointed, to enforce the injunction, and examine into the profits made by Corn ing, Winslow Homer, by the use of Bnr-denls patent, and the amount of" damage sus tained by Burden, in consequence of the unjust and unlawful violation and infringement by the defendants." BRICK PKESS. In this city on Saturday (23rd) in the U. S. Circuit Court, Judge Nel son presiding, a verdict was given in favor of Alfred Hall, vs. J. Strang, for the infringe- ment of a patent for making bricks. The verdict was $1,000 damages. The trial of a similar suit against Daniel Weed was commenced.
This article was originally published with the title "Patent Cases—Hook-Headed Spike" in Scientific American 8, 33, 258 (April 1853)