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Opinion of the Court.
him, to the public oy connecting it with his preparation. The Court of Cassation rested its decree upon the finding of fact by the court below, which was conclusive on it, that no such association of the name, by either the express or tacit consent of Bully, had ever taken place. We excerpt, briefly, the language of the Court of Cassation as reported in the Dictionary of De Marafy, vol. 1, p. 11:
"Whereas, without doubt, the methods of manufacture of a patented product fall into the public domain after the expiration of the patent, but it is otherwise as to the name of the inventor, and that this rule suffers no exception, except in the case where, either by long usage or in consequence of a consent either expressly or tacitly given by the inventor, his surname having become the sole usual designation of his invention, it is employed to indicate the mode or the system of manufacture and not the origin of the particular manufacture.
"Whereas, it is declared by the judgment appealed from, that Claude Bully has never manifested an intention to indissolubly bind up or unite his name for the benefit of his invention," etc., etc.
And the same distinction controlled the case of Howe, where the French courts enjoined the use of that name on a sewing machine. There the court, as a basis of its decree, used the following language: "And whereas, they [Howe and his heirs] did not take patents in France for the invention and their improvements, which have therefore fallen into the public domain," and have "never, either expressly or tacitly, abandoned the right to affix his name" (that of Howe) "to the products of the invention."
The result, then, of the American, the English and the French doctrine universally upheld is this, that where, during the life of a monopoly created by a patent, a name, whether it be arbitrary or be that of the inventor, has become, by his consent, either express or tacit, the identifying and generic name of the thing patented, this name passes to the public with the cessation of the monopoly which the patent created. Where another avails himself of this public dedication to make the machine and use the generic designation, he
Opinion of the Court.
can do so in all forms, with the fullest liberty, by affixing such name to the machines, by referring to it in advertisements and by other means, subject, however, to the condition that the name must be so used as not to deprive others of their rights or to deceive the public, and, therefore, that the name must be accompanied with such indications that the thing manufactured is the work of the one making it, as will unmistakably inform the public of that fact.
It remains only to apply these legal conclusions to the facts already recapitulated. Of course, from such application all claim of right, on the part of plaintiff in error, to prevent the use of the name "Singer" is dispelled. This leaves only two questions, first, whether that name as used in the circulars and advertisements of the defendant is accompanied with such plain information as to the source of manufacture of the machines by them made as to make these circulars and advertisements lawful; and, second, whether this also is the case with the use of the word "Singer" on the machines which the defendant makes and sells. As to the first of these inquiries. the proof shows that the circulars were so drawn as to adequately indicate to any one in whose hands they may have come that the machines therein referred to were made by the June Manufacturing Company, and not by the Singer Company. We therefore dismiss the circulars from view. As to the advertisements, without going into details, some of those offered in evidence were well calculated to produce the impression on the public that the Singer machines referred to therein were for sale by the June Manufacturing Company, as the agent or representative of the Singer Company.
On the second question the proof also is clear that there was an entire failure on the part of the defendant to accompany the use of the word "Singer," on the machines made and sold by him, with sufficient notice of their source of manufacture, to prevent them from being bought as machines made by the Singer Manufacturing Company, and thus operate an injury to private rights and a deceit upon the public. Indeed, not only the acts of omission in this regard, but the things actually done, give rise to the overwhelming implication that
Opinion of the Court.
the failure to point to the origin of manufacture was intentional, and that the system of marking pursued by the defendant had the purpose of enabling the machines to be sold to the general public as machines made by the Singer Company.
The marks on the machines are found on the oval plate and on the device cast in the leg of the stand. On the first of these (the oval plate) the words "Improved Singer" are found in prominent letters, unaccompanied by anything to indicate that the machines were manufactured by the June Company, except the words "J. M. Co." and the monogram "J. Mfg. Co." The shape of the plate, its material, the position in which it was placed upon the machines, its size, its color, the prominence given to the words "Improved Singer," all could have conveyed but one impression to one not entirely familiar with the exact details of the device upon the Singer Company's plates, and that is that the machine was one coming from the factory of the Singer Company. So, in the second (the device cast in the legs of the stand), the word "Singer " alone without any qualification is there found in bold relief, and above this the word "I. S." and in small letters "J. Mfg. Co." The similarity between the letter J. and the letter S., the failure to state in full the name of the manufacturer, the general resemblance to the device of the Singer Company, the place where it was put, which had no necessary connection with the structure or working capacity of the machines, and the prominence of the casting of the word "Singer" in comparison with the other mark, bring out in the plainest way the purpose of suppressing knowledge of the actual manufacturer, and suggesting that it was made by the Singer Company. It is significant of the fraudulent purpose of the defendant that the device which the Singer Company cast in the legs of its machines was only by them adopted after the expiration of the patents and the resulting cessation of the monopoly, and for the avowed purpose of distinguishing their machines from others which had come upon the market, and therefore the colorable imitation which the defendant immediately proceeded to make had no necessary connection with the right to make machines according to the Singer system
Opinion of the Court.
and to call and sell them as Singer machines in consequence of their dedication to the public. But there are other circumstances in the record which throw light upon the facts which we have just stated, and lend to them an increased significance. On the plate of the Singer machines there was plainly marked a number, which the proof shows had run with relatively accurate consecutiveness from the beginning. These numbers, as a result of the vast development of the business of the Singer Company and the enormous number of New Family machines sold by them, ran into the millions. The defendant, who was in the commencement of his business, at once began also to number his machines in the millions, thereby conveying the obvious impression that they were the result of a manufacture long established, and as they were marked "Singer" suggesting, by an irresistible implication, that they were machines made by the Singer Company. There is an attempt in the evidence to explain this fact by the statement that it was the habit of sewing machine makers to add three figures to the actual number of machines by them made, but the proof does not sustain the explanation, and if it did, it amounts to but the contention that the commission of a fraud should be condoned because others were guilty of similar attempts to deceive. There is another significant fact. On the machines made by the Singer Company there was a tension screw. This screw on the Singer machines served a useful mechanical purpose, and did not pass into the public domain with the expiration of the fundamental patents, because specially covered by a subsisting patent. The defendant in making his machines placed thereon a dummy screw, serving no mechanical purpose whatever, and which could have had no object but that of producing the impression that his machine was made by the Singer Company.
There remains only for examination the second proposition, that is:
Second. The alleged violation of the specific trade-mark of the complainant by the device found on the defendant's machine and by the use of the word "Singer."
This question is necessarily involved in and determined by
Opinion of the Court.
the foregoing considerations. There can be no doubt, if the right to use the word "Singer" did not exist, that the plate and the device cast in the leg of the defendant's machine would be a plain infringement of the specific trade-mark of the Singer Company. There can also be no doubt that the marks used by the defendant would not constitute a specific infringement unless they contained the word "Singer" or a representation equivalent in the public mind to that word. It follows that the marks used by the defendant become only an infringement from the fact that each of them contained and embodied the word "Singer." But the word "Singer," as we have seen, had become public property, and the defendant had a right to use it. Clearly, as the word "Singer" was dedicated to the public, it could not be taken by the Singer Company out of the public domain by the mere fact of using that name as one of the constituent elements of a trade-mark. In speaking of a mark containing composite words, some of which become dedicated to public use, others of which are not, Braun in his Traité des Marques de Fabrique, No. 135, pp. 354-355, says: "The surname, says a judgment of the court of Paris, is property in the most necessary and in the most imprescriptible sense. (Paris, 18th of November, 1875, Pattaille.) Does this mean that a mark composed of a name can never be lost? The courts, on the contrary, have decided that two elements which compose a name, that is, the surname of the individual or the firm upon the one side and its tracing or distinctive form " (in a trade-mark) "are susceptible of falling into the public domain together or separately. In this last case, the exclusive right to the trade-mark may survive the exclusive right to the name and vice versa. Thus one may keep the exclusive right to the use of the name, while the remainder of the mark will belong to every one."
The right to use the word "Singer," which caused the imitative infringement in the device, being lawful, it is plain that the infringement only resulted from the failure to plainly state along with the use of that word the source of manufacture, and therefore this branch of the question is covered by the same legal principle by which we have determined the other.