Among the patents issued on the 13th inst., we find that of James E. A. Gibhs, assignor to John H. Ruckman, being a re-issue of his patent dated June 2, 1857. The issue of this renewed patent terminates one of the most severely contested interference suits that has ever been tried in the United States Patent Office. A brief hi8tory of this case may prove not uninteresting to our readers. As above stated, Gibbs obtained letters patent for an improvement in sewing machines on the 2d day of JunA, 1857 ; and in September following, A. F. Johnson, assignor to himself and F. F. Emery, filed an application for a similar invention and demanded an interference. Upon examination of the evidence presented on both sides, priority was decided on the 6th day of March, 1858, in favor of Gibbs. Instead of appealing to the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia, the attorney for Johnson made a successful attempt to obtain a second trial within the Office, which, however, resulted in the dissolntion of the interference, the Commissioner deciding that Johnson only claimed a peculiar construction of hook, consisting in a specified combination and arrangement of parts, which claim, he thought, might be allowed. Gibbs' assignee, not satisfied with this decision, insisted tbat the question of priority be decided. He accordingly cansed the suspension of the issne of Johnson's patent, surrendered his patent, and applied for a re-issue of the same with a claim covering Johnson's modification. This having been examined in connection with the evidence before the Office, the Commissioner granted the patent to him, thus acknowledging Gibbs' priority and title to a broad claim. Both Johnson's and Gibbs' patents were ordered to issne simultaneously, but delays occurred in the issue of the latter on account of an error in the records of assignments.
This article was originally published with the title "The Gibbs' Interference Case" in Scientific American 13, 47, 373 (July 1858)