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SCHICK DRY SHAVER, INC. v. DICTOGRAPH PRODS. CO.

October 31, 1936

SCHICK DRY SHAVER, Inc., et al.
v.
DICTOGRAPH PRODUCTS CO., Inc.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MOSCOWITZ

MOSCOWITZ, District Judge.

This is a suit for the infringement of claims 1 and 13 of patent No. 1,721,530 issued to Jacob Schick on July 23, 1929, and claim 5 of patent No. 1,757,978 issued to Jacob Schick on May 13, 1930.

The plaintiff Schick Dry Shaver, Inc., is a corporation organized and existing un-of the state of Delaware, and is the owner of the exclusive right to make, use, and sell, and to grant to others sublicenses to make, use, and sell in the United States of America, the inventions of the two patents in suit.

 The plaintiff Schick Industries, Limited, is a corporation organized the existing under the laws of the Bahama Islands, and is the owner of the legal title to the patents in suit.

 The plaintiff manufactures an electric razor, a dry shaver known as the Schick razor.

 The defendant, Dictograph Products Company, Inc., is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the state of Delaware, and has a regular and established place of business within this district.

 The defendant's electric razor, a dry shaver, is known as the Packard Lektro Shaver.

 Claims 1 and 13 of Schick patent, No. 1,721,530, read as follows:

 "1. A shaving implement comprising a shearing plate of extreme thinness to rest against the skin, having an opening for the reception of hair, a cutter to travel across the opening to provide a shear cut with one edge of the opening, and means for holding the parts to insure the supporting of the plate against fiexing by means of the cutter."

 "13. A shaving implement comprising a shear-plate with slots extending from side to side, a cutter under the plate and having teeth to co-operate with the edges of the slots in cutting, and means for operating the cutter transversely of the slots."

 Claim 5 of Schick patent, No. 1,757,978, reads as follows: "5. A shaving machine comprising a shaving head channel-shaped in cross section and slotted and sharpened on its closed side to form shearing edges, and a cutter channel shaped in cross-section and slotted on its closed side and slidable in the head whereby the slotted ends co-operate to cut hair entering the slots of the shaving head."

 The defendant has interposed defenses of invalidity and noninfringement.

 The general idea of manufacturing a dry shaver was in itself not new. Prior to the invention of patent No. 1,721,530 attempts had been made in the United States, England and France to manufacture dry shavers. Those efforts, however, were without result. The first attempt to manufacture dry shavers was made about 1900, as is shown in the Drosse patent, No. 664,388, issued December 25, 1900. Nothing effective was done until the invention by Col. Jacob Schick of the patent No. 1,721,530.

 The subject of plaintiff's patent No. 1,721,530 is a mechanical dry shaver, a device by means of which the hair can be quickly, readily, and efficiently removed from the face and other parts of the body without the use of soap lathers or creams. The device shown in this patent is an effective dry shaver which may be used without an unpleasant or disagreeable effect. The Schick device described in this patent is new, novel, and useful, and it can be well understood that in all probability this device will revolutionize the manner and method of shaving.

 The plaintiff Schick Dry Shaver, Inc. has manufactured and sold dry shavers since 1931. Its gross sales have been approximately $6,000,000. It has had a large commercial success. When the plaintiff's razor first appeared on the market, the public was skeptical of its use. No doubt many still are. The fact that 500,000 are in daily use indicates its success. It is not only used by the public, but is prescribed by physicians for sufferers from skin diseases.

 No other dry shaver appeared on the market until December, 1935, at which time defendant's device was sold under the name of Packard Lifetime Lektro-Shaver, manufactured by the defendant, Dictograph Products Company, Inc., for Lektro-Shave Corporation, and distributed by the Progress corporation.

 The Packard shaver is claimed to be manufactured under patent No. 1,970,518, issued to A. Harry Aaron on August 14, 1934. Mr. Aaron is vice president of Dictograph Products Company, Inc., and is president and fifty per cent. owner of the Lektro-Shave Corporation, and vice president of the Progress Corporation. Aaron's ideas concerning a dry shaver were not original. All of his information on the subject was obtained in the home of one Hanley, in New Jersey, on the occasion of a ...


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