drum type of ice making machine and the patent, in claims 1, 2
and 3, claims a trough structure for catching an excess of water
poured over the refrigerated drum surface to make ice. The
particular structure claimed is a trough placed below the lower
edge of the drum surface, and mounted on a rotor that carries the
revolving ice removing knives. Another circular trough below the
revolving trough is positioned to receive the water through a
drain in the bottom of the revolving trough. Each of the 5 claims
of Albright patent 2,683,357 requires a structure in which the
revolving trough below the lower edge of the drum is present.
Claims 4 and 5 define the trough as part of certain flake ice
20. North Star ice makers have not and do not contain a
revolving trough of any kind. There is no infringement of any
claim of Albright patent 2,683,357.
21. Prior art Lessard and Lees patent 2,585,021 was filed
November 27, 1948 and issued February 12, 1952. The patent
describes an upright drum type of ice making machine in which
water in excess flows over the freezing surface of the drum and
is caught in a revolving trough 30 which empties into a circular
basin 31. The arrangement, structure and operation of the trough
mechanism shown in prior patent 2,585,021 is substantially the
same as claimed in claims 1, 2 and 3 and described in combination
claims 4 and 5 of the later Albright patent 2,683,357 in suit.
The disclosures of the earlier patent 2,585,021 anticipate and
render patent 2,683,357 in suit invalid.
IV. Branchflower Patent 2,735,275
22. The validity of patent 2,735,275 is not before the court
because there is no evidence that it is owned by any party to
this suit or any party summoned before this court to defend the
said patent, and because the pleadings do not place the validity
of the patent in issue. The counterclaim of Kent Industries Inc.
alleges that patent 2,735,275 is owned by North Star Ice
Equipment Co., which allegation is denied. No evidence has been
presented to support that allegation.
V. The Unfair Competition Issues
23. No evidence was offered concerning the counterclaim of Kent
Industries, Inc. for injunction and damages for customer threats
alleged to have been made by plaintiff. The counterclaim, being
thus unsupported on the record, must be dismissed on its merits.
24. In view of the findings by the court concerning plaintiff's
infringement of Lees patent 2,659,212, the court finds that
defendants' charges of infringement directed to plaintiff and
plaintiff's customers were not unwarranted. There is insufficient
evidence to permit a finding that the defendants' charges of
infringement and threats of suit went beyond the bounds of
Conclusions of Law.
1. The court has jurisdiction of the parties to and the subject
matter of this suit.
2. Claims 1 through 8, inclusive, of patent 2,659,212, in suit,
3. Claims 1 through 8, inclusive, of patent 2,659,212, in suit,
have been infringed by plaintiff.
4. Claims 1 through 5, inclusive, of patent 2,683,357, in suit,
are invalid for lack of invention in view of the prior art.
5. Claims 1 through 5, inclusive, of patent 2,683,357, in suit,
if valid, have not been infringed by plaintiff.
6. The court has no jurisdiction over Lyle Branchflower or
7. Plaintiff's claim for damages by reason of threats of suit
by defendants must be denied and dismissed on its merits.
8. The counterclaim of defendant Kent Industries, Inc., for an
injunction and damages by reason of threats of suit by plaintiff
must be denied and dismissed on its merits.
9. Defendants are entitled to permanent injunction restraining
plaintiff from infringement of patent 2,659,212.
10. Defendants are entitled to a judgment for damages from
plaintiff for infringement of patent 2,659,212.
11. Plaintiff, having deliberately and fraudulently
appropriated the improvements later disclosed by the inventor in
patent 2,659,212, and having thereafter sought herein to invoke
the equitable powers of this court on its behalf to restrain
defendants from asserting rights in the said patent and in patent
2,683,357, has come into court with unclean hands. As to the
equitable relief sought, the doctrine of unclean hands must be
and hereby is invoked. Accordingly, all equitable relief should
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