The opinion of the court was delivered by: BYERS
These are cross motions, the plaintiff's being to confirm the reports of the Special Master, and that of the defendant, to reject them, and for a denial of the plaintiff's motion to punish the defendant for contempt of the decree and injunction dated August 27, 1937, and September 15, 1937, adjudging plaintiff's patent, Reissue No. 19170 of No. 1854600, valid and infringed, and enjoining the defendant from infringement.
The single issue referred to the Special Master was whether the defendant had been guilty of contempt, and the record has been reviewed solely to determine whether the evidence, adduced at the hearings, sustains his affirmative conclusion.
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 53(e), subdivision (2), 28 U.S.C.A. following section 723c, enjoins the court to accept the Master's finding of fact "unless clearly erroneous".
The defendant has rendered a minimum of assistance to the court in its effort to conduct a critical study of the merits of the controversy.
There are six "objections", of which the second only is directed to the sufficiency of the evidence concerning defendant's conduct subsequent to the rendition of the decree and the actual receipt of a copy thereof by him.
The issue of alleged disobedience is the only matter requiring judicial determination, and yet the defendant and his counsel take the position that the court is to be relieved of the responsibility of decision, by the defendant, who says that his process is not that taught by the patent but, since it is a secret one, he need not disclose it, and there the matter must rest.
The defendant being called by the plaintiff, the following occurred:
"A. I have no patent, you know. I don't think it's fair to give you what I'm doing. Only I fight what I'm doing over there, because you want to put me in jail for now. I don't want to say nothing about what I'm doing. When the time come, I will.
"Q 32. Well, the time is right now.
"By Miss Mangan: Is it a secret process, Mr. Slosse?
"By the Witness: That's a secret process.
"By Miss Mangan: Is it protected by patent?
"By Miss Mangan: Then, under those circumstances, I believe, if the Court pleases, the witness is ...