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when they are opened they both spring in somewhat different positicns from those which they occupy when closed. The defendant's device secures the early closing and delayed break by a shifting movement of both the shunt terminal and piece, while the complainant accomplishes this through a stationary shunt terminal and a moving shunt piece actuated by a long arm pivoted to the main contact member near the toggle joint.
Let a decree be drawn dismissing the bill, with costs.
CURTIS V. ATLAS CO.
(Circuit Court, D. New Jersey. March 11, 1905.)
PATENTS-INFRINGEMENT-TREAD FOR BICYCLE PEDALS.
Th Curtis patent, No. 533,867, for a detachable rubber-faced foot-rest for bicycle pedals, claims 1 and 2, were not anticipated, and disclose invention. Claims 3 and 4 are void, as too indefinite and uncertain. Said claims 1 and 2 also held infringed by the device of the Wirtz patent, No. 679,043.
In Equity. Suit for infringement of letters patent, No. 533,867, for a velocipede treadle, granted to Albert B. Curtis February 12, 1895. On final hearing.
Southgate & Southgate, for complainant.
ARCHBALD, District Judge. It is somewhat remarkable that with all the ingenuity and skill, inventive as well as mechanical, which has been brought to bear upon the manufacture of bicycles, so simple and convenient an appliance as the detachable rubber foot-rest devised by the complainant should not have been thought of before. The fact that it had not, and that it has gone into such extended use as was shown, not only proves that it has met a popular and hitherto unfilled demand, but is also persuasive that its discovery involved the exercise of real invention, and not simply the handy skill of the ordinary mechanic, as one might at first be inclined to believe. The invention displaved may not be of a high order, but it was, at least, sufficient to appreciate the need, and the means for meeting it acceptably, where others had failed, a circumstance which always has weight.
The object is to provide a readily applied and easily removable attachment for converting a so-called “rat-trap” or tooth-edged pedal into one with a rubber-faced tread, in order that the rider may have the benefit of either, on the same machine, at will. The idea is not new, there being several convertible, as well as detachable, devices in existence, at the time that this one was produced, having the same purpose in view; and the novelty of the complainant's invention is made to
1 Specially assigned.
reside, in consequence, in the particular construction adopted. As shown by the accompanying diagrams, the device is made up of a T-shaped metal shell or frame, upon which an upper facing of corrugated rubber is set; the shell consisting of a flattened horizontal tubular body or core, and parallel vertical sides or holding plates, extending down at right angles therefrom, and so separated and arranged as to receive the serrated edge of the 'pedal plate between them; the rubber facing or cushion being cast upon and completely enveloping the core or body, to which it is anchored by means of holes or perforations in the metal, into which the rubber flows; and the whole appli
ance being fastened in place, when in use, by a screw-head bolt and nut, extending through corresponding eyes in the holding and pedal plates, provided for the purpose.
That this differs in principle and construction from anything which had gone before is plain. Confining our attention to bicycle pedals, which is the immediate art involved (although there is nothing in any other which need disturb us), convertible foot-rests, by which a rattrap effect, or a cushion tread, upon the same pedal, is interchangeably secured, are to be found in the Jeffrey (1889), the Wise (British, 1892), the Allday (British, 1893), and the Shultz (1893); and detachable ones, in the Murray (1892), the Jeffrey (1888), the A. Perkins (1894), and the R. Perkins (1895). The conversion in the Jeffrey (1889) and the Allday is accomplished simply by turning the pedal upside down, one surface having a tooth or rat-trap edge, and the other a rubber tread or pad, the pedal being properly characterized as a compound reversible one. The same is true of the Shultz, although this may be classed as both detachable and reversible, the rubber strips, which cover over the serrated edges of the longitudinal troughs in which they are set to form an elastic tread, being removable when a rat-trap effect is desired; while in the Wise both constructions are present at the same face, the rat-trap teeth lying a little below the normal level of the
rubber, and being brought into play by an increased pressure of the foot of the rider, the elasticity of the rubber being designed to give way and enable the teeth to be engaged. These are all so far removed from anything to be found in the invention in suit as to call for nothing more than the notice so given them. Of the detachable devices, the Murray consists of a sheet metal sleeve, in the form of a scroll, armed on its exposed surfaces with teeth, and so fashioned as to be capable of being slipped over the cylindrical bars which form the normal tread
of the pedal on which it is designed to be used. In the Jeffrey (1888) the ordinary forms are also departed from, and pedals are provided, having V or polygonal shaped troughs upon their upper surface, into which removable rubber strips are set, which are held in place by ribs or corrugations extending along the sides of the troughs, and fitting
THE JEFFREY (1888)
into corresponding recesses in the rubber; while the upper edges of the troughs are extended above the surface of the pedal and provided with teeth, so that, upon the removal of the rubber strips, a rat-trap edge is laid bare. The A. Perkins, also, has detachable flat rubber strips or pads, which are bolted to the surface of the pedal, and still further held in place by flanges on the outer edge of the pedal plates. Where it is desired that the pedal shall be convertible, these flanges
are given rat-trap teeth, which are brought into service by the removal of the pads. In the R. Perkins the usual metal pedal plates, with spurs or teeth of the ordinary rat-trap type, on both edges, are shown; the detachable device consisting of blocks of rubber, having corrugated wearing surfaces, which are secured by clamping plates and bolts against the inner face of the pedal plates, and, being wider than rhem, project above and beyond the rat-trap teeth upon the edges. This may be regarded as one of the most effective devices preceding that in suit, and in some respects approaching the nearest to it. But, like all the other detachable foot-rests which have been spoken of, it has to be fitted in size and construction to the particular form of pedal upon which it is to be used; and neither does it possess, any more than the rest, the unitary structure, which is a conspicuous point of merit in the one in hand. Differing in this, and other respects too obvious to require discussion, from anything which had gone before, the present invention is clearly new and valid.
The question of infringement is not so readily disposed of. It depends upon the construction to be given to the claims of the patent by which the invention is defined. There are four of these, and all of them are relied upon as follows:
"(1) In rat-trap and similar pedals for velocipedes, detachable foot-rests, adapted to be applied to the rat-trap plates, and having parallel holding plates projecting therefrom, adapted to be fitted to said rat-trap plates, and means for fastening said holding plates to the rat-trap plates, substantially as and for the purpose set forth,
"(2) In rat-trap and similar pedals, the detachable foot-rests, F, F, adapted to be applied to the rat-trap plates, in combination with an irregular shaped, metalholding plate fastened thereto, by embedding a portion thereof in said footrest, and consisting of the central body,
f, and parallel plates, b, b, projecting at -3
right angles therefrom, and means for
fastening said parallel plates to the rat-6
trap plates, substantially as and for he purpose set forth,
"(3) A detachable foot-rest for rat-trap
pedals, having a clamp shaped to receive Fig.7
a rat-trap plate, and faced with rubber, and means for detachably securing said clamp to said plate, substantially as described.
“(4) A detachable foot-rest for rat-trap 6- b
pedals, having a perforated metallic clamp adapted to receive a rat-trap plate, a rubber facing cast upon and extending through the perforations of the metallic clamp, and means for detachably securing said clamp to said plate,
substantially as described." Of these claims, the third and fourth are altogether too indefinite and general to be sustained. The only structural elements suggested for the detachable foot-rest mentioned in the first of these (3) are (1)