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Opinion of the Court.
The 16th section created the limitation of five years, declaring that: “He, she or they who shall have had five years like peaceable possession of real estate, cultivating, using or enjoying the same, and paying tax thereon, if any, and claiming under a deed, or deeds, duly registered, shall be held to have full title, precluding all claims; but shall not bar the government;" and saving disabilities for non-age, coverture or insanity.
Now supposing that the prerogative of the government prevented the statute from running until after the patent issued to the heirs of John Childress in June, 1868, it certainly commenced to run at that time against those who claimed under the patent; and the facts present a strong case of adverse possession on the part of E. M. Daggett and his grantees. They were in full, continuous and peaceable possession for a period, altogether, of thirty years, namely, from 1854 to 1885, when William Dunlap and others appeared as intervenors in this suit; and from 1854 to 1886, when the Worralls intervened. This possession was complete in the use, cultivation and enjoyment of the land in dispute, and the payment of taxes thereon. It was claimed and exercised under a regular deed of conveyance from M. T. Johnson, dated 230 June, 1855, which granted and conveyed, not only the certificate of Rutledge, but the land located under it, describing and identifying the same; and which was duly registered in the records of Tarrant County on the 30th of March, 1857. It is difficult to see why the plea of limitation of five years at least is not a good bar against the heirs of Adaline S. Worrall. She died November 4th, 1870, and one-half of her estate descended to her husband, I. R. Worrall, who survived to the 22d September, 1871. The statute having commenced to run against him, was not suspended by his death, and had been running more than fourteen years at the commencement of the suit. The other half of Adaline S. Worrall's estate descended to her brother, John Cook, and her two sisters, Alizannah, wife of William Dunlap, and Matilda, wife of Dr. Jonas Fell. John Cook was living at Adaline's death, and survived to August, 1873. The sisters were married women when Adaline S. Worrall died, but as
her disability as a married woman had already prevented the statute from running during her lifetime, their disability, according to the law of Texas, cannot be added to hers. It was decided by the Supreme Court of Texas in the cases of White v. Latimer, 12 Texas, 61, and Mc Masters v. Mills, 30 Texas, 591, that one disability cannot be tacked to another so as to prolong the disabilities beyond the continuance of that which existed when the cause of action accrued. See, also, Wood on Limitations, $ 251, and notes. According to this rule the statute commenced to run at the death of Adaline S. Worrall, on the 4th of November, 1870. If this be so, as we think it is, the complainants in the cross-bills are barred by the statute of limitations.
The new statute of limitations contained in the Revised Statutes, which went into effect on the 1st day of September, 1879, does not materially differ, so far as its application to the present case is concerned, from the old statute of 1841; and it is explicit in declaring that “the period of limitation shall not be extended by the connection of one disability with another.” Rev. Stats. Texas, 1879, Art. 3225.
In our judgment, the statute of limitations is a complete bar to the claims set up by the complainants both in the original and in the cross-bills, whether we are right or not in regard to the validity of the Rutledge title.
The decree of the Circuit Court is affirmed.
HILL v. WOOSTER.
APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR
THE DISTRICT OF VERMONT.
No. 10. Argued November 19, 20, 1889. - Decided January 13, 1890.
In a suit in equity, brought under $ 4915 of the Revised Statutes, in a Cir.
cuit Court of the United States, there was a decree in favor of the plaintiff, that he was entitled to receive a patent for certain claims. The decision rested solely on the fact that he was the prior inventor, as between
Opinion of the Court.
him and the defendant. On appeal by the defendant to this court; Held, that this court must consider the question of the patentability of the inventions covered by the claims, and that, as they were not patentable, the decree must be reversed, and the bill be dismissed.
IN EQUITY. The suit was brought under section 4915 of the Revised Statutes of the United States to determine to whom a certain patent, yet to be issued, covering certain improvements in milk-setting apparatus, belonged. Decree in favor of the plaintiff, from which the defendants appealed. The case is stated in the opinion.
Mr. William Edgar Simons for appellants.
MR. JUSTICE BLATCHFORD delivered the opinion of the court.
This is a suit in equity, brought in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Vermont, by Daniel B. Wooster against Samuel Hill, Benjamin B. Prentice, and The Vermont Farm Machine Company, under section 4915 of the Revised Statutes, which reads as follows: “Whenever a patent on application is refused, either by the Commissioner of Patents or by the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia upon appeal from the Commissioner, the applicant may have remedy by bill in equity; and the court having cognizance thereof, on notice to adverse parties and other due proceedings had, may adjudge that such applicant is entitled, according to law, to receive a patent for his invention, as specified in his claim, or for any part thereof, as the facts in the case may appear. And such adjudication, if it be in favor of the right of the applicant, shall authorize the Commissioner to issue such patent on the applicant filing in the Patent Office a copy of the adjudi. cation, and otherwise complying with the requirements of law. In all cases, where there is no opposing party, a copy of the bill shall be served on the Commissioner; and all the expenses of the proceeding shall be paid by the applicant, whether the final decision is in his favor or not."
The substance of the allegations of the bill is as follows:
Opinion of the Court.
Wooster, on the 17th of January, 1879, filed in the Patent Office an application for a patent for an “improvement in milk-coolers." The Commissioner of Patents declared an interference between that application and letters patent No. 207,738, granted September 3, 1878, to said Hill and Prentice, for an
“ improvement in milk-coolers,” an interest in which patent had been assigned to the defendant The Vermont Farm Machine Company. Testimony was taken, and priority of invention was adjudged by the Patent Office in favor of Wooster, in respect to the claim in issue in the interference; and Wooster, by a separate application for that purpose, was granted a patent containing that claim, on the 14th of June, 1881, No. 242,805, for an “improvement in milk-coolers.”. On the 30th of March, 1880, IIill and Prentice filed an application for a patent for an “improvement in milk-setting apparatus.” They also, on the 10th of November, 1880, filed an application for a reissue of their patent No. 207,738. Both of the lastmentioned two applications were declared to be in interference with the application of Wooster, of January 17, 1879. Testimony was taken by both parties, and the Commissioner of Patents decided to grant a patent for certain of the claims to Hill and Prentice, or to The Vermont Farm Machine Company as their assignee, and refused to grant a patent for them to Wooster. Four of those claims arose on the application filed by Hill and Prentice on the 30th of March, 1880, and were as follows:
“1. The combination, with a cabinet provided at its top with a cover or lid and having a door in its side, of an ice receptacle located in the upper portion of the cabinet, and an elongated milk receptacle, the upper portion of which is located within the ice receptacle and its discharge conduit arranged to extend below the ice receptacle.
“2. In a milk-cooling apparatus, the combination, with a cabinet or box having its top and side provided with covers or doors, of a vertically elongated milk receptacle provided with a discharge-regulating valve or stop-cock at its lower end, and an ice receptacle having an open top and surrounding the upper portion of the milk receptacle.
Opinion of the Court.
"3. A milk-cooling apparatus consisting essentially of a vertically elongated milk receptacle, provided with a discharge opening at its lower end, an ice receptacle having an open top and surrounding the upper portion of the milk receptacle, and a cabinet having a cover which extends over the milk and ice receptacles, and with a side door for preventing admission of the outer air to the lower portion of the milk receptacle, when desired.
“4. A milk-cooling apparatus, consisting of a cabinet provided with an upper and lower compartment, an ice receptacle having an open top and located in the upper compartment of the cabinet, a vertically elongated milk receptacle, the upper portion of which is located in the ice receptacle and its lower end constructed to project downward into the lower compartment of the cabinet, and a valve or stop-cock connected with the lower end of the milk receptacle."
The decision against Wooster and in favor of Hill and Prentice covered three other claims, which arose on Hill and Prentice's application for a reissue, filed November 10, 1880; but it is not necessary further to allude to them, as there is no contest in this court in regard to them.
The bill contains the following statement as to the invention of Wooster:
"The object of your orator's invention being to provide a milk-cooler of such construction that a milk receptacle of a depth greater than its width may have its upper portions only subjected to cold, and thus cause the contained milk to rise and descend in reverse vertical currents. The upper strata of milk, being subjected to cold, will part in whole or in part with its cream, and then descend, its place being supplied by an ascending current of warmer milk from the lower portion of the vessel. And, further, to provide the milk-cooler with a combined ventilator and filter, whereby the milk may be thoroughly ventilated. And, further, to provide a milk-cooler with a transparent eduction tube, to be attached to the lower portion of the cooling vessel, whereby the milk can be easily or readily inspected while being drawn from the cooler and the milk and cream accurately separated and deposited in separate vessels."