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These instructions are in exact accordance with the adjudications in the cases of Terry and Rodel; and upon consideration we are unani mously of opinion that the rule so established is sounder in principle, as well as simpler in application, than that which makes the effect of the act of self-destruction, upon the interests of those for whose benefit the policy was made, to depend upon the very subtle and difficult question, how far any exercise of the will can be attributed to a man who is so unsound of mind that, while he foresees the physical consequences which will directly result from his act, he cannot understand its moral nature and character, or in any just sense be said to know what it is that he is doing.

If a man's reason is so clouded or disturbed by insanity as to prevent his understanding the real nature of his act, as regards either its physical consequences or its moral aspect, the case appears to us to come within the forcible words uttered by the late Mr. Justice NELSON, when chief justice of New York, in the earliest American case upon the subject: "Speaking*legally, also, (and the policy should be subjected to this test,) self-destruction by a fellow-being bereft of reason can with no more propriety be ascribed to his own hand than to the deadly instrument that may have been used for the purpose;" and, whether it was by drowning, or poisoning, or hanging, or in any other manner, “was no more his act, in the sense of the law, than if he had been impelled by irresistible physical power." Breasted v. Farmers' Trust & Loan Co. 4 Hill, 73, 75.

Judgment affirmed.

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(109 U. S. 17) DOUBLE-POINTED TAOK Co. v. Two RIVERS MANUF'G Co. and others.

(November 8, 1883.)

PATENTS FOR INVENTIONS FIRST AND SECOND CLAIM IN LETTERS PATENT

No. 147,343 HELD VOID.

The first claim of letters patent No. 147,343, granted February 10, 1874, to the

Double-pointed Tack Company, as assignees of Purches Miles, the inventor, for an "improvement in bail-ears," namely: “(1) The compound staple-fastening, d, for bails, made with the diagonally cut penetrating points, 2 and 3, loop, 4, and body, 5, said diagonally cut points being positioned as set forth, so as to bend upwardly in driving into the wood, as set forth,''-does not, in view of

what existed before in the art, set forth any patentable invention. It was commonly known that the effect of a diagonal cut on a penetrating point was

to force the point, in being driven, in a direction away from the cut. Doublepointed staples, with a diagonal cut on each point, but the diagonal cut on one point on the upper and outer side, and on the other point on the lower and outer side, as the staple was driven, were old, the effect in driving being to bring the points together; and there was nothing more than mechanical skill in putting the diagonal cuts on the same side of each leg, so as to incline both points, in driving, in the same direction.

1S. C. 3 Fed. Rep. 26.

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The second claim of the patent, namely: “(2) The convex metallic washer, o, in

combination with the compound bail-fastening staple, d, having upwardly pen. etrating points, 2, 3, and loop, 4, as and for the purposes specified,"-does not set forth a patentable combination, but only an aggregation of parts. Neither

the staple nor the washer affects or modifies the action of the other. Appeal from the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

A. v. Briesen, for appellant.
Wm. P. Lynde, for appellee.

BLATCHFORD, J.. This is a suit in equity brought in the circuit court of the United States for the eastern district of Wisconsin, for the infringement of letters patent No. 147,343, granted February 10, 1874, to the plaintiff, the Double-pointed Tack Company, as assignees of Purches Miles, the inventor, for an “improvement in bail-ears." The circuit court dismissed the bill, and the plaintiff has appealed to this court.

The specification of the patent says: “Wire staples have been employed to form the fastening eyes for bails, and these have been driven into the wood with the penetrating points nearly at right angles to the surface, and in use they are liable to pull out by the weight. My invention consists in a bail-fastening staple made of wire, with the penetrating ends cut at such an angle that, in driving them into the wood, they will assume an upward inclination, so that the weight will tend to force such points inwardly rather than to draw them out, and the bending of the ends in clinching will always be upwardly, thus making a better and more reliable article than heretofore; and I combine with such fastening & convex metallic washer to keep the bail from contact with the wood or the paint thereon. In the drawing, figure '1 is a section of the fastening, complete;*figure 2 shows the compound staple-fastening separately; and figure 3 is an elevation of the washer. The wood-work, a, represents part of a bail or tub, and the bail, b, is of wire, having eyes, c, at the ends, which are bent so as to stand parallel, or nearly so, to each other. The compound staple-fastening, d, is made with the penetrating points, 2, 3, loop, 4, for the eye, c, and the body, 5. The ends, 2, 3, of the wire are cut diagonally, so that, in driving them into the wood, the tendency is to bend upwardly and clinch, and they will usually be long enough to pass through the wood and be clinched. The body of the fastening stands vertically, or nearly so, and will usually be partially embedded

ng... in the wood. The sheet-metal washer, e, prevents the eye, c, coming against the wood. The points of the staple penetrate the wood upwardly, so as effectually to prevent the staple pulling out under the ordinary strain to which it is subjected."

The claims of the patent are these :

“(1) The compound staple-fastening, d, for bails, made with the diagonally cut penetrating points, 2 and 3, loop, 4, and body, 5, said diagonally cut points

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being positioned as set forth, so as to bend upwardly in driving into the wood, as set forth. (2) The convex metallic washer, e, in combination with the compound bail-fastening staple, d, having upwardly penetrating points, 2, 3, and loop, 4, as and for the purposes specified.”

The gist of the invention set forth in the descriptive part of thes specification, so far as the first claim is concerned, is to cut the two penetrating ends of the wire diagonally, and in such a way that, while the staple is being driven, the cut faces will both of them be on the lower side, and the two penetrating ends will both of them incline upwardly. It is shown to have been commonly known that the effect of a bevel or a diagonal cut on a penetrating point was to force the point, in being driven, in a direction away from the bevel or cut. Double-pointed staples, with a diagonal cut on each point, but the diagonal cut on one point on the upper and outer side, and on the other point on the lower and outer side, as the staple was driven, were old.

They were used to secure wire screens as guards for windows. The effect in driving them was to bring the two points to. gether, by throwing them towards each other, through their move. ments in opposite directions. The mechanical action embodied was the forcing each point, in being driven, in a direction away from its bevel or cut. The result was that the legs of the staple were bent and came together, and were thus clinched in the driving, and it was more difficult to pull out the staple than if the legs had gone in without bending. In view of this state of the art, there was no patentable invention, and nothing more than mechanical skill, in putting the diagonal cuts or bevels on the same side of each leg of the staple, so as to give both points, in driving, an inclination in the same direction, that direction being one away from both bevels, and in using the device to fasten a bail. This was the view taken by the circuit court. There is no suggestion in the specification or claims as to any invention or novelty in the form of the loop, or of the body, or in the relative lengths of the two penetrating points, or as to the angles formed by such points with the loop, or the body, before driving. The so cutting the penetrating ends that they will both of them incline upwardly, in driving, is the only feature of invention set forth, and to this the patent must be limited, so far as the first claim is concerned.

The second claim is for the washer in combination with the staple of the first claim. This is not a patentable combination. There is only an aggregation of parts when the staple is used-with the washer. The use of the washer is stated in the specification to be to keep the eye at the end of the bail from contact with the wood or the paint thereon. The upper point or leg of the staple goes through the eye and through the center of the washer; but the presence of the washer does not modify or affect the action of the staple, nor does the staple modify or affect the action of the washer. The washer keeps the eye of the bail from rubbing the wood of the pail. It would have

the same effect if it were fastened in some other way than by having the leg of the staple pass through it, and the staple would in such case have the same operation which it now has.

The decree of the circuit court is affirmed.

(109 U. S. 168)

INDIANA SOUTHERN R. Co. o. LIVERPOOL, LONDON & GLOBR Ins. Co.

GUION •. SAME.

(November 6, 1883.)

CROSS-BILL-REFURAL OF LEAVE TO FILE-FAILURE TO OBJECT TO SUFFICIENCY

OF PROOF WHEN OFFERED—APPEAL PROM A DECREE

BY ONE WHO IS NOT A PARTI.

Where none of the rights of a party asking leave to file a cross-bill will be lost to

him by the refusal of the court to grant such leave, such refusal is clearly

within the discretion of the court. Where no objection is made to the proof of a claim as presented to a master in

chancery when presented, a decree allowing the laims as presented will not

be reviewed. One not a party to a suit in which there has been a decree has no right to an ap

peal. Ex parte Cutting, 94 U. 8. 14.

Appeals from the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Indiana.

Saml. A. Huff and A. L. Roache, for appellants.

Geo. Hoadly, E. M. Johnson, Edwd. Colston, and Benj. Harrison, for appellees.

*WAITE, C. J. These are appeals from the final decree in a suit brought by the Liverpool, London & Globe Insurance Company to foreclose a mortgage given by the Indiana Southern Railroad Com. pany to William H. Swift and Samuel J. Tilden, trustees, to secure an issue of bonds, 1,500 of which, amounting in the aggregate to $1,500,000, are held by the insurance company. The suit was begun in a state court on the thirteenth of June, 1868, but on the twentyfourth of November, 1871, it was removed to the circuit court of the United States for the district of Indiana. Among the defendants, when the removal was made, were the Ohio & Mississippi Railway Company, and the Fort Wayne, Muncie & Cincinnati Railroad Company. The Indiana Southern Company acquired its title to the mortgaged property in January, 1866, by purchase at a foreclosure sale of the property of the Fort Wayne & Southern Railroad Company. When this purchase was made the railroad was in an unfinished condition, and the Indiana Southern Company itself abandoned all work upon it early in 1867. A part only of the line was graded by these companies, and no ties or rails were ever laid by either of them. The Indiana Southern Company is confessedly insolvent. After the proceedings for the foreclosure of the mortgage of the Fort Wayne & Southern Company had been finished, after the mortgage by the Indiana Southern Company to Swift and Tilden had been executed, and after the commencement of this suit for its foreclosure, the Ohio & Mississippi Company, and the•Fort Wayne, Muncie & Cincinnati Company, each purchased from the Fort Wayne & Southern Company a part of the line of that company, the purchasing companies intending to use the property purchased in the construction of their respective roads. They claimed that the proceedings for the foreclosure of the mortgage of the Fort Wayne & Southern Company were invalid, and that their title by purchase from that company was superior to the title of the Indiana Southern Company and its mortgagees. Upon their purchase they each entered into the possession of their respective portions of the old line, and proceeded to construct and finish their several roads thereon.

On the twelfth of September, 1872, Swift and Tilden, the trustees of the Indiana Southern mortgage, filed a cross-bill in the cause, the object and purpose of which was to foreclose the mortgage for the benefit of all bondholders, and to quiet their title as against the adverse claims of the Ohio & Mississippi, and Fort Wayne, Muncie & Cincinnati Companies. The Indiana Southern Company has never answered either the bill or the cross-bill, and on the twenty-fourth of September, 1872, an order was entered in due form that the bill and cross-bill be taken as confessed by that company. On the fourteenth of November, 1873, a reference to a master was ordered to ascertain and report the amounts due to bondholders on the Indiana Southern mortgage. On the eighteenth of December, 1873, the Ohio & Mississippi and Fort Wayne, Muncie & Cincinnati Companies each filed answers to the bill and cross-bill, setting up their respective itles, and what they had done pending the suit in the construction of their roads upon and over a part of the original right of way and grading of the Fort Wayne & Southern Company. Before this time an agreement of compromise had been entered into between the insurance company and the two purchasing railroad companies, to take effect if all the other parties in interest should give their assent. This assent does not appear to have been obtained.

On the twenty-first of April, 1877, the master made a report, stating the amounts due the several bondholders who had proven their claims before him, and on the seventeenth of May the Indiana Southern Company filed exceptions to all his allowances. On* the second of January, 1878, the same company appeared and moved to set aside the order referring the case to the master, and also for leave to file a cross-bill, the prayer of which was: (1) That the insurance company be required to take issue on the answers of the two railroad companies; (2) that the Indiana Southern Company might have leave to

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