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ATLANTIC REF. CO. v. JAMES B. BERRY SONS' CO.

April 27, 1936

ATLANTIC REFINING CO.
v.
JAMES B. BERRY SONS' CO., Inc.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: GIBSON

The court makes the following findings of fact:

1. This is a suit in equity wherein the defendant is charged to infringe United States patent No. 1,680,421 entitled "Fractional Distillation" filed March 25, 1926, by Joseph W. Lewis, Jr., and granted August 14, 1928, to the plaintiff, the Atlantic Refining Company, a corporation of Pennsylvania, as assignee.

 2. The defendant is a Pennsylvania corporation and a subsidiary of Quaker State Oil Refining Corporation. It conducts the process complained of in apparatus installed and operating at its plant at Oil City, Pa.

 3. Suit was brought in November, 1933, answer filed in February, 1934, depositions were taken on behalf of defendant in January, February, and March, 1935, the case was tried in open court in April, 1935, and argued in October, 1935, briefs having been filed by both sides during the period between April and October.

 4. Plaintiff's title to the patent in suit and the giving of notice of infringement are admitted.

 5. Claims 1 and 2 of the Lewis patent in suit are relied upon by plaintiff. Said claims are as follows:

 "1. In the art of fractionally distilling hydrocarbon oils, the method which comprises passing vapors of the oil counter current to and in contact with reflux oil, withdrawing a portion of the reflux oil intermediate the lightest and heaviest fractions, passing the reflux oil so withdrawn counter current to steam in contact therewith to remove low boiling components, thereby yielding an intermediate fraction of higher flash point, and continuing the other portion of the reflux oil counter current to the vapors in an earlier stage of the fractionating system."

 "2. In the art of fractionally distilling hydrocarbon oils, the method which comprises passing vapors of the oil counter current to and in contact with reflux oil, withdrawing a portion of the reflux oil intermediate the lightest and heaviest fractions, subjecting the reflux oil so withdrawn to direct contact with steam to separate low boiling point components, returning the vapors of the separated low boiling components into the fractionating system, and continuing the other portion of the reflux oil counter current to the vapor in an earlier stage of the fractionating system."

 6. Defendant's Foster Wheeler, modern, single flash, plurality of side streams, distillation unit, which is charged to infringe the patent in suit, is illustrated and described in a stipulation, entered into between the parties, in evidence as Plaintiff's Exhibit 6, and the unit includes, generally, parts as follows:

 (a) A supply tank from which crude oil is pumped.

 (b) A pipe heater, or pipe still.

 (c) A fractionating column having a plurality of both rectifying and exhausting sections built therein, or composing the same.

 (d) An overhead draw-off line, for vapors, leading to a partial condenser, then to a final ...


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