Lawsuits: Tackling "Rascality and Dishonesty"
W. H. Hutchinson & Son weren’t
bluffing about protecting their valuable patents by pursuing legal
action against infringers.
Here, in date order, are the specifics about several lawsuits in
which they were involved:
Circuit Court of the United States.
For the District of
JUDGE SHIPMAN, Presiding.
October Term, 1880.
HENRY W. PUTNAM. vs. ANDREW
Suit for infringement of the Miller Patent
for the Improvement in Bottle Stoppers.
This suit was brought against A. J.
Was defended by W. H. Hutchinson & Son.
Andrew J. Tinkham was
apparently a soda bottler who utilized Hutchinson’s Patent Spring Stopper.
Henry W. Putnam must have decided to test the validity/value of
Joel Miller’s 1874 and 1881 (filed in 1880) patents by suing W. H.
Hutchinson & Son for infringement.
Clearly it wasn’t a wise move.
For the Northern District
His Honor JUDGE BLODGETT,
April Term, 1882.
HENRY W. PUTNAM vs. GEO. C. HUTCHINSON.
HENRY W. PUTNAM vs. CHAS.
HENRY W. PUTNAM vs. JOHN A.
The above cases were decided in our favor,
April 17, 1882.
Judge Blodgett concurs with Judge Shipman,
of the Circuit Court of the
for the District of Connecticut, in holding the Miller Re-issue void
as to the claims under which Putnam endeavored to hold us liable as
infringers in making and selling the Hutchinson Patent Spring
The bills were dismissed with costs
Henry W. Putnam gave it
another try in Illinois, this time
suing W. H. Hutchinson & Son, and John Lomax (Lomax had purchased the Hutchinson’s bottling
operation in Chicago) for infringing the Joel Miller patents.
Putnam lost again.
Northern District of
CHARLES G. HUTCHINSON vs.
EDWARD H. EVERETT and AMOS F. PARKHURST (In Chancerey.
EDWARD H. EVERETT and AMOS
F. PARKHURST vs.
CHARLES G. HUTCHINSON.
Friday, January 29, 1886.
Present: Hon. HENRY W. BLODGETT, District
This cause came on to be finally heard at
this term upon the bill, cross bill, and other pleadings and proofs,
and was argued by counsel for the respective parties, and the Court
being fully advised in the premises doth overrule the motion for
rehearing made herein since the final hearing, and finds that the
said two patents in the bill mentioned, one being Letters Patent of
the United States granted to the complainant, Charles G. Hutchinson,
dated June 17, 1879, and designated as Re-issue Number 8,755, and
the other being Letters Patent of the United States, granted to Amos
F. Parkhurst, assignor, to said Edward H. Everett, dated December
11, 1883, Number 289,928, are interfering patents; that the said
Charles G. Hutchinson is the sole owner of the said Re-issue Patent
8,755, and that the said Edward H. Everett is the sole owner of the
other Patent 289,928; that the complainant, Charles G. Hutchinson,
was the original and first inventor of the improvement set forth in
his said Patent Re-issue, Number 8,755, and that the complainant is
entitled to have the said Patent Number 289,928, declared to be
And it is by the Court ordered, adjudged
and decreed that the Letters Patent of the
United States of America,
for Improvement in Bottle Stoppers, granted to Amos F. Parkhurst,
assignor to said Edward H. Everett, dated December 11, 1883, Number
289, 928, be and the same are hereby revoked and annulled and
declared to be wholly void and invalid, and of no effect.
It is further ordered, adjudged and
decreed that the cross bill of defendants be dismissed for want of
equity, and that the complainant, Charles G. Hutchinson, do recover
from the defendants his costs herein to be taxed.
Although the Parkhurst versus
lawsuit was settled in a court room, a very public battle took place in
the industry trade publications, with the parties suing and
countersuing, and actively advertising their respective claims.
In the accompanying 1885
National Bottlers’ Gazette advertisement, Edward H. Everett, based
his claim on the design of the spring bail (Parkhurst’s 1883 patent
specifically mentioned four different bail forms), vs.
Hutchinson’s figure 8-shaped spring bail.
The court didn’t buy
In the High Court of Justice.
Tuesday, the 29th
day of June, A. D. 1886.
Between AUGUST PETERSON,
JOHN LOWDEN AND FRANCIS A.
DESPARD, Trading under the name of Lowden & Co., and JAMES CLARK AND
PETER CLARK, Trading under the Name of Clark Bros., Defendant.
Honorable Mr. JUSTICE FERGUSON.
This action coming on for trial on the 27th,
and 30th days of April
last, May the 1st last,
and the 4th and 5th
days of June last, at the Special Sittings of this Court, holden at
the City of Toronto, for the trial of actions in the Chancery
Division, in the presence of counsel to all parties, upon opening of
the matter and upon hearing read the pleadings and proceedings had
and taken herein, and upon hearing the evidence adduced and what was
alleged by counsel aforesaid, this Court was pleased to direct that
the said action should stand over for judgment, and the same coming
on this day for judgment, this court doth declare:
FIRST – That the Letters Patent for the
Dominion of Canada, No. 10,347, granted to the plaintiff on the 7th
day of August, A. D. 1879, as the assignee of Charles Grove
Hutchinson for the invention therein described as “Hutchinson’s
Spring Bottle Stoppers,” are good and valid Letters Patent, and that
the said defendants, by reason of the manufacture, use and sale of
Internal Spring Bottle Stoppers, as set out in the pleadings herein,
have infringed the said plaintiff’s Letters Patent, and doth order
and adjudge the same accordingly.
SECOND – And this Court doth further
order and adjudge that the said defendants and each of them, they
and each of their servants, workmen and agents be and they are
hereby restrained during the continuance of said Letters Patent from
making or constructing Internal Spring Bottle Stoppers similar to or
only colorably differing from those recently manufactured by the
defendants Lowden and Despard and by them sold to and used by the
defendants the Clarks and others, in infringement of the said
plaintiff’s Canadian Letters Patent, No. 70,337, and from in anywise
infringing on the plaintiff’s rights as patentee.
THIRD – And the Court doth further
order and adjudge that it be referred to the Master in Ordinary of
the Supreme Court of Judicator for Ontario to take in account of the
amount of damages (if any) the plaintiff has sustained by reason of
the unlawful manufacture, sale and use by the defendants of the
plaintiff’s said patented invention for “Internal Spring Bottle
Stoppers,” as described and claimed in Canadian Letters Patent, No.
10,337, and that such amount, when so ascertained, be paid to the
plaintiff by the said defendants forthwith after said Master shall
have made his report.
FOURTH – And this Court doth further order and adjudge that
the said defendants do pay to the said plaintiff his costs of this
action, including the costs of the reference hereby directed,
forthwith after taxation.
So much for “rascality and