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BASSICK MFG. CO. V. R. M. HOLLINGSHEAD CO., 298 U. S. 415 (1936)

U.S. Supreme Court

Bassick Mfg. Co. v. R. M. Hollingshead Co., 298 U.S. 415 (1936)

Bassick Manufacturing Co. v. R. M. Hollingshead Co.

No. 23

Argued October 21, 1936

Decided May 18, 1936*

298 U.S. 415


1. Claims 1, 2, 3,4, 5, 6, 8, and 10 of Gullborg Patent No. 1,307,734, for a means of lubricating metal bearings, particularly those of automobiles, claimed a combination of (1) a type of pin fitting; (2) a grease gun; (3) a connecting hose, and (4) a type of coupler. The only novel feature of the combination was in the construction of the coupler, which, utilizing a perforated sealing disk mounted to reciprocate in the bore of the coupler with means for yieldingly pressing the disk against the end of the pin fitting, operates upon uncoupling to produce a suction effect which removes excess lubricant from the point of contact of the two members. Held, to that extent, the claims disclose novelty and invention. P. 298 U. S. 420.

2. The finding of the Circuit Court of Appeals that the accused grease gun of respondent (in No. 23) lacked the only novel feature of the Gullborg patented combination, and that it therefore did not infringe, sustained. P. 298 U. S. 422.

3. Claims 14 and 15 of Gullborg Patent, No. 1,307,734, for a combination of the type of pin fitting covered by Gullborg Patent, No. 1,307,733, with a grease gun of any type, held not contributorily infringed either (1) by the sale of pin fittings of a type not covered by Patent No. 1,307,733, even though a grease gun of the "suction effect" type could be used therewith, or (2) by the sale of grease guns which could be used with the patented pin fitting but which did not embody the improved coupler evidenced by the patent in suit. Pp. 298 U. S. 424-425.

4. A patentee cannot, by improving one element of an old combination whose construction and operation is otherwise unchanged, in effect repatent the old combination by reclaiming it with the improved element substituted for the old element. P. 298 U. S. 425.

73 F.2d 543 affirmed.

74 F.2d 1019 reversed.

Page 298 U. S. 416

Certiorari, 295 U.S. 726, to review judgments in two cases from different circuits, involving questions of the validity and infringement of a patent. The cases are stated in the opinion.

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