the main avenues by the red light, the green is displayed on the cross-avenues, and traffic proceeds either north or south. When green is displayed on the main avenues, the red shows, and stops traffic on the cross-avenues. The amber is the middle light, and, when displayed, shows in all directions, stopping all vehicular traffic, and permitting pedestrians to cross in any direction. For controlling taffic, permitting fire apparatus to proceed from the fire house to the scene of a fire without interference, the system has been so designed that at a central station the operator may cut out all of the lights on the entire length of either of the main avenues and display flashing amber lights to stop all traffic along that particular avenue and on all cross-avenues within the area. The control by the operator will permit these flashing signals on one, or simultaneously on two, three, or four of the main avenues, affecting all cross-avenues where the flashing signals appear.
This system the plaintiffs claim infringes the patent in suit. I am convinced that there is no infringement. The limitations and restrictions of the patent cannot extend its operation beyond the provision that the signals must "be effective * * * between any two proximate signals," and be intended "to point out a path for fire apparatus, or the like."
While this limitation may not require that the signals must show the direction from which the apparatus is approaching, and its definite destination, it certainly necessitates that the signaling device shall be reasonably circumscribed to the immediate district of the path of the fire apparatus.
The principle of adjusting lights or electric signals in circuits is not new; such arrangement is within the knowledge of any properly trained electrician. No inventive genius or discovery appears to be required, in order to arrange the circuits as used in Atlantic City, by combining the signals for the full length of the main avenues and controlling same at a central or common point.
The patent in question has heretofore been in litigation.
In the case of Kelley v. City of Syracuse, 47 F.2d 347, 348, the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York, held that the patent was confined to a signaling system "which points out a path or route over which the fire apparatus is to travel," and that a system of signals, as operated in Syracuse, which caused the red light to be displayed over a given area, regardless of the path to be used by the apparatus, did not infringe the Kelley patent.
This decision was affirmed in the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit by per curiam opinion, in 47 F.2d 349.
Another case involving the validity of the patent and the question of infringement is Kelley v. City of New York (D.C.S.D.N.Y.) 58 F.2d 831, wherein it was also determined that the patent was limited to signals pointing out a path for fire apparatus or the like. The facts in that case did not bring the defendant within the operation of the patent, and the bill was dismissed on the merits.
This case was affirmed, per curiam, in (C.C.A.) 63 F.2d 1007, and certiorari denied by the Supreme Court in 290 U.S. 637, 54 S. Ct. 54, 78 L. Ed. 554.
I find as facts:
(1) Assuming the patent to be valid, which I am not determining, it is restricted and limited to the operation of signals "to point out a path for fire apparatus, or the like."
(2) That the system adopted by, and in use in, Atlantic City, does not infringe the patent of plaintiffs, because it cannot be operated "to point out a path for fire apparatus, or the like."
Conclusions of law:
It being found as a fact that there is no infringement, the plaintiffs are not entitled to any relief or decree.
No testimony was produced in any way involving the defendant Harry Bacharach, and because of such failure of proof, the bill, as to him, will be dismissed, with costs.
Upon the findings of facts and the conclusions of law, the bill, as to the defendant Atlantic City, will also be dismissed, with costs.
Decrees of dismissal should be presented promptly.
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