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An examination of this question, among others, was made by the state court after full hearing by all parties, and all that can ssibly be claimed on the part of the plainiff in error is that such court erroneously decided the law. That constitutes no Federal question. As to the second question, there is no state statute subsequent in date to the charter of the water company under or by virtue of which this proceeding was commenced, or which in any way affects the contract of plaintiff in error. The joint resolution of the legislature of Louisiana referred the whole matter to the attorney general for him to bring suit to forfeit the charter or to take such action as he might think proper. It was a simple authority, if any were needed, to present the question to the court, and neither the contract nor any other rights of the parties were in anywise altered by such resolution. The proceeding herein is based solely upon an alleged violation of the terms of the charter by the corporation; that question has been judicially determined after a full investigation by the state courts, and in a proceeding to which the company was a party, and after a full hearing has been accorded it in such proceeding. This was due process of law, of no Federal question arises from the decision of the court. The same answer would seem to fit the other questions submitted by the plaintiff in error. They are all based upon the proposition that the judicial determination of these particular questions by the state tribunal was erroneous, and on account of such error the rights of the plaintiff in error, under the Federal Constitution, have been violated. But mere error in deciding questions of this nature furnishes no ground of jurisdiction for this court to review the judgments of a state court. Assuming that there was a contract, as is claimed by the plaintiff in error, arising by virtue of the passage of the acts of 1877 and 1878, and their acceptance by the corporation, yet still the erroneous decision by the state court, admitting, arguendo, that it was erroneous, raises no Federal question. This court does not and cannot entertain jurisdiction to review the judgment of a state court, solely because that judgment impairs or fails to give effect to a contract. Curtis v. Whitney, 13 Wall. 68, 20 L. ed. 513, holds that a statute may even affect a prior contract without always impairing its obligation. The judgment must give ef. fect to some subsequent state statute or state Constitution, or, it may be added, some ordinance of a municipal corporation passed by the authority of the state legislature, which impairs the obligation of a contract, before the constitutional provision regarding the impairment of such contract comes into play. See authorities above cited. The state in this case has secured the forfeiture of the charter of the defendant by means of a judicial decree obtained in a state court which had jurisdiction to give the relief prayed for, and after a hearing
of the defendant in the usual manner pertaining to courts of justice. The facts upon which such forfeiture was based have been judicially declared and found, and the defendant has had full opportunity for its defense upon such hearing. The cause of forfeiture was the fact, which was found by the court, that the corporation had charged illegal rates for the water it furnished, and the right to declare such forfeiture, because to of a violation by defendant of the conditions 3 *of its charter, was implied in the very grants of the charter itself. The claim therefore that the forfeiture was a violation of the charter, and of the contract therein contained, and was on that account a taking of defendant’s property without due process of law, or that the state by such judgment had denied to defendant the equal protection of the laws, cannot obtain. Whether defendant had so violated its charter was a fact to be decided by the state court. That court had full jurisdiction over the parties and the subject-matter, and its decision of the question was conclusive in this case so far as this court is concerned. Neither the legislative resolution, nor the action of the attorney general, nor that of the supreme court of the state, nor all combined can as contended for by plaintiff in error, be in anywise regarded as the taking by the state of property without due process of law through the instrumentality of its legislative, its executive, and its judicial departments, either jointly or severally. When analyzed, the whole claim is reduced to the assertion that in enforcing a condition which is impliedly a part §§. charter, the state, through the regular administration of the law by its courts of justice, has by such courts erroneously construed its own laws. This court in such a case has no jurisdiction to review that determination. The assumption that the state court has refused to apply to the contract herein set up the of provisions of the law of contracts prevailing in the state, and that therefore the state has taken through her judiciary the 3. of the plaintiff in error without due process of law, is wholly without foundation. If it were otherwise, then any alleged error in the decision by a state court, in applying state law to the case in hand, resulting in a judgment against a party, could be reviewed in this court on a claim that on account of such error due process of law had not been given him. This cannot be maintained. That the bondholders were not made parties is also a question which this court cannot review. As is said in the Needles Case, 113 U. S. 574, 28 L., ed. 1084, 5 Sup. Ct. Rep. 681, the corporation, by the very terms of its existence, is subject to a dissolution at the suit of the state on account of any wilful violation of its charter, and the cred-: itors" of the corporation deal with it sub-..." ject to this power. They must accept the result of the decision of the state court. Upon a careful review of all the questions, we are of opinion that, within the
authorities cited, the claim that any Fed
eral question exists in this record is so clearly without color of foundation that this court is without jurisdiction in this case, and the writ of error is therefore dismissed.
(185 U. S. 403)
CARNEGIE STEEL COMPANY, Limited,
Patents—process invention — construction of claim—disclaimer—infringement — stipulation of fact—repudiation for mistake.
1. A process patent is not anticipated by mechanism which might, with slight alterations, have been adapted to carry out that process, unless such use of it would have occurred to one whose duty it was to make practical use of the mechanism described. The process claim of the Jones patent, No. 404,414, for mixing molten pig iron so as to secure greater uniformity in chemical composition and avoid the necessity of remelting before further treatment in converters, the dominant idea of which is the permanent retention in a large covered reservoir of so large a quantity of the molten metal as will absorb variations of the product from the blast furnaces received into it and discharged from it into the converters, was not anticlpated by prior patents or publications which contemplated the storage or mixture in reservoirs of molten metal from blast furnaces for use in casting or converters, in none of which was the retention of a quantity of the molten metal recognized as essential ; or by the practice in steel works of mixing remelted pig Iron from cupola furnaces in receiving or reservoir ladles in which a considerable residue was generally maintained. Whether the process claim of the Jones patent, No. 404,414, for mixing molten metal, which, when read in connection with the specifications, clearly covered the product of blast furnaces, was intended to include the products of cupola furnaces as well, and is therefore invalid, need not be considered in a suit for infringement by the use of an apparatus for mixing molten metal taken from blast furnaces. A construction of the claim of the Jones patent, No. 404,414, for a process of mixing molten pig metal, as covering a method for avoiding abrupt variations in its chemical constituents, preparatory to further treatment in converting it into steel, is not inconsistent with the specification of the patent that its primary object was to render the product of steel works uniform in chemical composition. A disclaimer of statements in the specifications of a patent may be entered in a suit for its infringement, when such statements, if retained, might be construed as having the effect of illegally broadening the claim, and there is no purpose of thus obtaining the benefit of a reissue, 6. The idea of the permanent retention in a reservoir of a large quantity of molten metal as a basis for unification of the product of blast furnaces received into it is sufficiently disclosed in the claim of the Jones patent, No. 404,414, for a process of mixing molten pig iron so as to secure greater uniformity in
Argued January 22, 23, 1901.
chemical composition, preparatory to further treatment, which specifies neither the size of the reservoir nor the amount of metal to be: left therein, where the specifications call for a reservoir of any convenient size, “holding, say, 100 tons of metal,” with the bottom of the discharge spout 2 feet above the bottom of the vessel in a 100-ton tank, “and more or less according to the capacity of the vessel," for the purpose of leaving a considerable quantity remaining and unpoured with which the fresh additions may mix.
Infringement of the process claim of the Jones patent, No. 404,414, for mixing molten pig iron, the dominant idea of which is the permanent retention in a large covered reservoir of so large a quantity of the molten metal as will absorb the variations of the product from the blast furnaces received into it and discharged from it into the converters, results from the use of a covered refractory lined and turtle-shaped tilting vessel of about 300 tons' capacity for receiving the molten metal from the blast furnaces and supplying the converters, in the practical operation of which, by not allowing the vessel to tilt beyond a certain point gauged by a chalk mark, there is habitually retained in such vessel about 175 tons of molten metal, notwithstanding a long prior use of an Intermediate uncovered receiving ladle for cupola metal, which held considerably more than the amount of metal necessary to charge a converter.
Counsel who has entered into a stipulation of facts to save delay may, upon giving notice in sufficient time to prevent prejudice to the opposite party, repudiate any fact therein with respect to which the facts subsequently developed show that it was inadvertently signed.
Ordered for reargument March 18, 1901. Reargued October 17, 18, 21, 1901. Decided May 5, 1902.
to vary considerably in chemical composition, particularly in silicon and sulphur, and such lack of uniformity is observable in different portions of the same cast, and even in different portions of the same pig. . . . . . The consequence of this tendency of the silicon and sulphur to segregate or form pockets in the crude metal is that the product of the refining process in the converters or otherwise in like manner lacks uniformity in these elements, and therefore often causes great inconvenience and loss, making it impossible to manufacture all the articles of a single order of homogeneous composition. Especially is this so in the process of refining crude iron taken from the smelting furnace and charged directly into the converter without remelting in a cupola, and, although such direct process possesses many economic advantages, it has on this account been little practised.” “For the purpose of avoiding the practical evils above stated, I use in the refining process a charge composed, not merely of metal taken at one time from the smelting furnace, but of a number of parts taken from different smelting furnaces, or from the same furnace at different casts, or at different periods of the same cast, and subject the metal before its final refining to a rocess of mixing, whereby its particles are iffused or mingled thoroughly among each other, and the entire charge is practically homogeneous in composition, representing in each part the average of the unequally diffused and segregated elements of silicon and sulphur originally contained in each of the several parts or charges. By proceed
ing in this way, not only is each charge for the refining furnace or converter homogeneous in itself, but, as it represents an average of a variety of uniform constituent parts, all the charges of the converter from time to time will be substantially uniform, and the products of all will be homogeneous.” “To this end my invention may be practised with a variety of forms of apparatus, —for ea ample, by merely receiving in a charging ladle a number of small portions of metal taken from several ladles or receiving vessels containing crude metal obtained at different times or from different fur-So naces, the miasing being" performed merely " by the act of pouring into the charging ladle, and other like means may be employed. (The clause in italics was subsequently disclaimed.) I prefer, however, to employ the apparatus shown in the accompanying drawings, and have made it the subject of a separate patent application, serial No. 289,673, and, without intending to limit the invention to the use of that specific apparatus, I shall describe it particularly, so that others skilled in the art may intelligently employ the same.” “My invention is not limited to its use in connection with converters, since similar advantages may be obtained by casting the metal from the miaring vessel into pigs for use in converters, puddling furnaces, or for any other uses to which pig iron may be put in the art.” . (This paragraph subsequently disclaimed.) (The apparatus is represented by the drawing here inserted.)
supported by braces and tie-rods, and may be of any convenient size, holding, say, 100 tons of metal (more or less), and its shape is preferably such as shown in the drawings, being rectangular, or nearly so, in cross section and an irregular trapezium in longitudinal section, one end being considerably deeper than the other. At the top of the deeper end, which I call the ‘rear' end, is a hopper 5, into which the molten metal employed in charging the vessel is poured, and at the front end is a discharge spout 6, which is so located that the bottom of the spout is some distance above the bottom of the vessel,-say 2 feet in a hundredton tank, and more or less, according to the capacity of the vessel,-the purpose of which is that when the metal is poured out of the spout a considerable quantity may always be left remaining and unpoured, and that whenever the vessel is replenished there may already be contained in it a body of molten metal with which the fresh addition may mix. I thus secure, as much as possible, uniformity in the character of the metal which is fed to and discharged from the tank, and cause the fluctuations in quality of the successive tappings to be very gradual.” “For convenient use of the apparatus I have found it best to so arrange it that it is adapted to receive its charges of metals from cars or bogies 7, which run on an elevated track at about the level of the normal position of the hopper 5, and to discharge its contents into similar cars or bogies 15 on a track below the spout 6. In order to facilitate the charging and discharging of the metal, the vessel is set on journals or j. 8, which have their bearings in suitable pedestals 9, and its rear end is provided with depending rack bars 10, which are pivotally connected with the bottom of the mixing vessel 2, and are in gear with pinions 11, the shaft of which is connected by gearings 12 with the driving mechanism of a suitable engine. The pinions are held in gear with the rack bars by idler wheels is or rollers 13. As the journals or bearings No. 8 are located on a transverse line somewhat * in advance of the center of gravity of the vessel, it tends by its own weight to tilt backward into the position shown in Fig. 1, but may be restored to a level position by driving the pinions 11, and thus raising the rack bars 10 until the front part of the bottom of the vessel comes in contact with a rest or stop 14.” “The mode of operation of the apparatus is as follows: When the vessel is in the backwardly inclined position shown in Fig. 1, it is ready to receive a charge of metal from the car 7. Before introducing the first charge, however, the mixing vessels should be heated by internal combustion of coke or gas, and when the walls of the vessel are sufficiently hot to hold the molten metal without chilling it, it is charged repeatedly from the cars 7 with metal obtained either from a number of furnaces or at different times from a single furnace. The charges of metal introduced at different times into the vessel, though differing
in quality, mix together, and when the vessel has received a sufficient charge its contents constitute a homogeneous molten mass, whose quality may not be precisely the same as that of any one of its constituent charges, but represents the , average quality of all the charges. If desired, the commingling of the contents may be aided by agitation of the vessel on its trunnions, so as to cause the stirring or shaking of its liquid contents. The mixing chamber being deeper at its rear than at the front end, as before described, and its normal position, when not discharging metal for the purpose of casting, being with the bottom inclined upward toward the front or discharging end, and the bottom of the spout being situate above the bottom of the vessel, at its forward end, it is adapted to receive and hold a large quantity of molten metal without its surface rising high enough to enter the discharge spout.
“The j spout 6 is furnished with a movable cover operated by a weighted lever 16, which, when closed, serves to exclude the outside air and prevent a draft of air through the vessel and the consequent rapid cooling of the molten contents. If care is exercised in keeping the cover closed, the metal can be kept in a fluid condition for a long time, the heat being kept up by repeated fresh charges of molten metal, and, if necessary or found desirable, by burning gas introduced by a pipe or pipes into its g interior.” $ * “After the vessel is properly charged, the s metal is drawn off into the cars 15 from time to time, as it is needed, by opening the door or cover 16 of the spout 6 and drivin the engine 12 so as to elevate the rear j of the vessel and tilt it forward, and thus to discharge any required amount of its contents in the manner before explained into the cars 15, which are transported to the converters, or the metal is cast into pigs or otherwise used. (Italics disclaimed.) The tilting of the vessel does not, however, drain off all the contents thereof, a portion being prevented from escaping by reason of the elevated position of the spout 6, and as the vessel is replenished from time to time each new charge mixes with parts of previous charges remaining in the vessel, by which means any sudden variations in the quality of the metal supplied to the converter is avoided. Instead of discharging the metal into the cars 12 and carrying it in the cars to the converters or casting house, the vessel 2 may be so situate relatively to the other parts of a furnace plant as to deliver its contents immediately to the converters or other place where it is to be utilized.”
“I find it in practice very advantageous to employ two or more mixing vessels constructed substantially as I have described, and to draw a portion of each converter charge from each of the mixing vessels. My invention is, however, not limited to the employment of two or any specific number of such vessels.”
“I shall now describe, briefly, other parts of the apparatus which are desirable and important in its practical use.”
“At the top of the vessel 2 are manholes 17 designed to permit of access to its interior for the purpose of repairing or fixing the lining. These holes are provided with suitable covers 18 to exclude cold drafts of air from entering the interior. There is also a hole 19 at the rear end of the vessel near the top, through which a rabble may be inserted for the purpose of assisting or accelerating the mixing of the molten metal, and at the other end, at the level of the bottom of the interior, there are holes 20 provided with suitable spouts to enable all the molten contents to be drawn off when it becomes necessary to do so. (See Fig. 3.) 3 The holes 20 should be provided with suita5 ble stoppers.” * * “I claim— “1. In the art of refining iron directly from the smelting furnace, the process of equalizing the chemical composition of the crude metal by too commingling or mixing together the liquid-metal charge and subsequently refining the mixed and equalized charge, substantially as and for the purposes described. “2. In the art of mixing molten metal to secure uniformity of the same in its constituent parts preparatory to further treatment, the process of introducing into a mixing receptacle successive portions of molten metal ununiform in their nonmetallic constituents (sulphur, silicon, etc.) removing portions only of the composite molten contents of the receptacle without entirely draining or emptying the same, and successively replenishing the receptacle with fresh ununiform additions, substantially as and for the purposes described.” The answer set up the invalidity of the patent by reason of an insufficient specification, anticipation, want of novelty, , and abandonment; and also denied infringement. Upon a hearing upon the pleadings and proofs, the circuit court held with the plaintiff, and found that the process was patentable; that it was not anticipated; that it was of great utility and importance; and that defendant had infringed the second claim. 89 Fed. 721. A decree having been entered for an injunction and an account of profits and damages, in accordance with this opinion, the case was carried to the court of appeals, which ordered the decree of the circuit court to be reversed, and the case remanded to that court with direction to dismiss the bill. 37 C. C. A. 593, 96 Fed. 850. Whereupon plaintiff applied for and was granted this writ of certiorari.
of its grosser elements, intermediate in the amount of its carbon between wrought and cast-iron, and tempered to a hardness which enables it to take a cutting edge, a toughness sufficient to bear a heavy strain, an elasticity which adapts it for springs and other articles requiring resiliency, as well as a susceptibility to polish, which makes it useful for ornamental and artistic purposes.
Pig iron, which was the original basis for the manufacture of all iron and steel, is made by the reduction of iron ore in large blast furnaces, which are filled with layers of ore, charcoal or coke, and flux. By the agency of this the iron is melted out and falls to the bottom of the furnaces, is drawn out through openings for that purpose into canals, and finally into molds, where it solidifies into what are termed É. Prior to the invention of Sir Henry Bessemer, steel was manufactured from a pig-iron base by a tedious and expensive process of refining in furnaces adapted to that purpose. The process was so costly that steel was little used except for cutlery and comparatively small articles, and was practically unknown in the construction of bridges, rails, buildings, and other structures where large quantities of iron were required.
In 1856 Bessemer discovered a process of E.; iron without the use of fuel, by lowing air o a molten mass of pi iron placed in a refractory lined vessel call a converter, whereby the silicon, carbon, and other nonmetallic constituents were consumed, and the iron thus fitted for immediate conversion into steel by recarbonization. The present process of recarbonization, was , a supplementary invention of Mushet, who accomplished it by the introduction of ferro-manganese, or spiegel-eisen, while the iron in a molten state was issuing from the converter, in which it had been purified, and was thus converted into steel. The process of running molten metal from blast furnaces into pigs and remelting them in cupola furnaces for use in a converter was termed the indirect process, and was ; generally used prior to the Jones invention. * *His process is thus described by Bessemer" in his patent of 1869: “The most important of these operations consist in melting the pig metal, transferring it in the molten state to the converting vessel, blowing air through it, and converting it into a malleable metal, mixing the metal so converted with a certain quantity of fluid manganesian pig iron, o the mixed metals into a casting ladle, and running it from thence through a suitable valve into ingots or other molds, and the removal therefrom of the ingots or other cast masses when solidified.” This invention of Bessemer, simple as it appears, may be said not only to have revolutionized the manufacture of steel, and to have introduced it into large constructions where it had never been seen before, but to have created for it uses to which ordinary iron had been but illy adapted.
While in the Bessemer specification of 1856 it is said “the iron to be used for the