pan, and common inlet and discharge through the bottom of the water pan.
Conclusions of Law.
We conclude, as a matter of law, that the two patents are void for want of novelty, that, even if valid, the defendant's structure does not infringe, and that therefore the plaintiff's bill should be dismissed.
We are dealing in the instant case with a crowded art. All of the elements of the patents in suit are found in the prior art. By reason of this association together, no added functions are performed.
The patent of Bruck, issued August 6, 1907, No. 862,443, for a steaming oven or cooking apparatus, and the patent of Hamaker, issued January 8, 1907, No. 840,488, for a combined cooking and heating stove, show all the elements of the plaintiff's patent No. 1,610,944, except the means for collecting drip water from the oven door, and the water supply tank fixedly connected to the outer casing provided with water-regulated mechanism. The British patent of Higgins, No. 4688, in January, 1900, for improvements in cookers, shows every element of plaintiff's patent No. 1,610,944, combined in the same way, with the exception that it does not have the drip collector and the feed-pipe leading through the outer and inner casings.
The patent to Prowse, issued April 23, 1907, No. 851,252, for improvements in cooking apparatus, discloses the water drip collector and water supply tank performing exactly the same functions as in patent No. 1,610,944. If these were added to the structures either of Hamaker or Bruck, they would perform the same functions in the same way in the new relation, as they do in the Prowse patent, and no additional functions.
Drip collector troughs are shown in steam cookers sold by Duparquet, Huot & Moneuse Company of New York City more than two years before the date of the application for the plaintiff's patent.
There was a British steam cooker in the possession of the plaintiff more than two years before the date of the application of either of his patents, shown by photograph (defendant's Exhibit N), which discloses all the elements of plaintiff's patent No. 1,610,944, performing the same functions as described in the several claims of plaintiff's patent No. 1,610,944.
Under these circumstances, there can be no escape from the conclusion that this patent No. 1,610,944 was void for want of novelty.
In our opinion, the so-called drip collector, which seemed to be the added element which the Patent Office thought revealed invention, performs no useful function for that purpose. After the oven door is opened, moisture on the inner surface of that door would not fall into the drip collector, but onto the floor. If the drip collector had been attached to the lower end of the door instead of the body of the cooker, then it would have swung with the soor off the oven as it opened, and might then be said to be a real drip collector for moisture dropping from the inner surface of the door. As it stands in plaintiff's structure, we cannot see that it performs any useful purpose. Certainly it does not co-act with the other elements of the plaintiff's claim to provide any new results.
In addition to that, the defendant's plate (Exhibit Q) is not a drip collector at all. It is at best but a guard plate, whose only useful purpose could be to protect the controlling valves of the burner in the heating chamber from food that might fall from vessels taken from the steaming chamber.
As to the second patent in suit, No. 1,748,123, all of the elements of the claim of this patent are found in the structure of the plaintiff's first patent and those of the Hamaker, Bruck, and Higgins patents, and perform their functions in the same way, except that cast metal is specified for the water-containing basin, the common water supply and exhaust conduit leading upwardly through the bottom of the water basin and the steam-heating circulation pipe within the basin having supply and return connections through the outer water.
As to these elements, there is no invention in using cast metal for the water basin over other forms of metal, and, even if there were, the British cooker, which was known to the patentee prior to the date of the invention of the patent in suit, was of cast metal. The patent to Prowse shows the introduction of water to the bottom of the water-containing basin. The Wolf patent, No. 1,332,016, shows a steam cooker with a water basin at its base heated by the direct discharge of steam to the water contained in the basin. Steam tables were then in common use for keeping foods warm, and in these tables the water was heated by steam coils immersed in the water of the pans.
There is nothing here that rises to the dignity of invention. These changes in the heating system are mere details in plumbing, which any ordinary plumber would know about, and show no inventive genius. We therefore find no new elements in plaintiff's patent No. 1,748,123.
On the whole case, the plaintiff's bill should be dismissed. Let a decree be submitted accordingly.
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