In the United States Circuit Court, this city, Judge Ingersoll presiding, an important case was decided on the 1st inst. The parties were Conrad Poppenhusen, complainant, against the New York Gutta Percha Comb Company, defendants. The suit was brought to recover damages f or inf ringing two patents of L. Otto and P. Meyer, one issued Dec. 20, 1853, and the other April 4, 1854, bSth assigned to the complainant. The first patent was for oiling or greasing the surface of gutta percha or india-rubber preparatory to being vulcanized, to make what is known as the " hard compound" for making combs and such like articles. The oil was applied to prevent the surface of the prepared gum adhering to the molds or covering, during the vulcanizing process. The second patent was for covering the surface of the vulcanized gum with tinfoil or its equivalent flexible metal pressed in contact with the surface of the gum to preserve the form during the vulcanizing process. The defense set up was, first, that the defendants did not infringe; and second, that, L. Otto and P. Meyer, the patentees, were not the original and first inventors. During the trial, it appeared that the defendants had only used the oiling process covered by the first patent for a short time, but it was proved that they had used the process covered by the second patent, and were still using it. Damages of $100 were awarded for the infringement of the second, and of 6 cents for the infringement of the first patent. These decisions sustained the validity of both patents. The case was contested at great length, and occupied the Court eleven days. For plaintiff, C. M. Keller and F. B. Cutting; and for defendants, George Gifford, and E. W. Stoughton.
This article was originally published with the title "Patent Suit—India-Rubber" in Scientific American 13, 40, 317 (June 1858)