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Goodyear Dental Vulcanite Company v. Davis, 102 U.S. 222 (1880)

Goodyear Dental Vulcanite Company v. Davis

102 U.S. 222


1. The invention for which reissued letters patent No. 1904, dated March 21, 1886, were granted to the Goodyear Dental Vulcanite Company was a set of artificial teeth, as a new article of manufacture consisting of a plate of hard rubber with teeth, or teeth and gums, secured thereto in the manner described in the specification by embedding the teeth and pins in a vulcanizable compound so that it shall surround them while it is in a soft state, before it is vulcanized, and so that when it has been vulcanized, the teeth are firmly and inseparably secured in the vulcanite, and a tight joint is effected between them, the whole constituting but one piece. Held that the invention being a product or manufacture made in a defined manner, and not the product alone, separated from the process by which it is created, the process is as much a part of the invention as is the material of which the plate or product is composed.

2. Those letters are not infringed otherwise than by using the material and the process or their equivalents. A plate made of celluloid is not, therefore, an infringement, as celluloid is not an equivalent for hard rubber, and in preparing it for that purpose the process, which is inseparable from the invention, cannot be employed.

This was a bill in equity brought by the Goodyear Dental Vulcanite Company against Charles G. Davis, alleging his infringement of reissued letters patent No. 1904, dated March 21, 1865, and granted to the complainant, as assignee of John A. Cummings, for an improvement in artificial gums and plates.

The bill was, on a final hearing upon the pleadings and proofs, dismissed. The complainant appealed here.

The facts are fully stated in the opinion of the Court.

Page 102 U. S. 223

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