The opinion of the court was delivered by: Platt, Chief Judge.
Plaintiff, Lewis E. Hamel Co., instituted this action against
the defendant, P & K, Incorporated, alleging infringement of
Patent No. 2,493,344, hereafter referred to as 344, and Design
Patent No. 158,958, hereafter referred to as 958. Plaintiff
dismissed, with prejudice, the allegations in the complaint
alleging unfair competition. Both patents pertain to a plastic
fishhook and snell holder and were issued to Lewis E. Hamel, the
inventor, and assigned by him to the plaintiff.
In patent 344 the application was filed July 12, 1949, and
issued January 3, 1950. The Design Patent No. 958 issued June 13,
1950, upon an application filed July 12, 1949.
(1) That both patents are invalid because:
(a) They do not rise to the status of invention in view of the
prior art. 35 U.S.C.A. §§ 102(b), 171.*fn1
(b) The difference between the plaintiff's mechanical and
design patents and the prior art are such that the subject matter
as a whole would have been obvious to one having ordinary skill
in the art. 35 U.S.C.A. §§ 103, 171.
(2) That claims 1, 2, 6, and 7 are broader than the invention
described in the specifications which include the air chambers as
an essential element.
(3) That the accused device does not infringe plaintiff's
Claim one of patent 344 reads as follows: "1. A fishhook and
snell holder comprising a housing consisting of two sections of
plastic material permanently secured together, each of said
sections having a channeled cross-section with slots at one end
to receive spring-actuated retainers and a plurality of series of
transversely arranged hook-receiving openings at the other end."
Claim 2 adds longitudinal grooves in the outer surface of the
housing which receive the snell and ridges between these grooves
extending somewhat above the snells when the latter are in
position. Claim 3 adds a sealed air chamber at the center of the
housing formed when the two sections of the plastic material are
permanently secured together. Claims 4 and 5 add no new element.
Claims 6 and 7 add a spring-actuated retainer component which
consists of slots at one end of each of the two main housing
sections to receive spring-actuated retainers, these sections
having curved grooves in their inner surfaces adjacent to the
slots with springs and spring-actuated retainers seated and
moveable in the grooves and spring guiding plate arranged between
the sections having curved grooves in its opposite surfaces
positioning the springs and retainers. Claims 8 and 9 add no new
element but combine all the elements described in the prior
The plaintiff maintains that all claims are valid and establish
infringement of his fishhook and snell holder.*fn2 The claims
are comprised of the following elements:
(1) A housing made of plastic.
(2) "[A] housing * * * of two sections * * *
permanently secured together, each * * * section
having a channeled cross-section."
(3) "[A] plurality of series of transversely
arranged hook-receiving ...