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Patents arguments between the Dennis and Lamson companies

The two articles below appeared in the Boston Post within three days of each other. The first states that Dennis had beaten Lamson in its claim for rights on the switch (point) and ball of the cash railway and was about to prosecute companies with switches installed by Lamson. The second (no doubt after gentle persuasion from Lamson) withdraws this statement, saying that a final decision has not yet been reached, the switch patent doesn't matter and the one for the ball is fully owned by Lamson. It also takes the opportunity to extol Lamson's commercial success.


Boston Post, 28 June 1884

A new company, bidding for the cash carrying business, has come into the field this week, styled "Flagg Cash Carrier company." It is a consolidation of the Flagg Automatic and the "Dennis Cash Carrier company" of Lowell. The latter company has just beaten the Lamson company and on an appeal were again succesful, the point at issue being the switch, which it was claimed and proved was the property of the Dennis company. It is reported that the Lamson people said they were not afraid of the Dennis company, even if they were beaten in the interference suit as they could easily buy up the opposition, but it now appears that that opposition has grown too big to be cheaply bought. The consolidated company means to prosecute the present holders of the Dennis switch where they have been put up by the Lamson company, and has issued a circular containing their claims which it intends to circulate among the present holders of the Lamson system as well as to its own stockholders and general investors. Among the late purchases by the company is the patent for the first hollow ball to be used for carrying cash, which antedates anything owned by the opposition company. It it claimed that the patent, which secures the principle of the Lamson ball, is owned one-third only by that company, and the new company has succeeded in acquiring possession of the remaining two-thirds, giving it full control of the patent. Work is to be pushed immediately, and orders are being taken for putting up the new system.


Boston Post, 1 July 1884

The statement published in the POST of last Saturday, to the effect that the Dennis Cash Carrier company of Lowell had just beaten the Lamson company, and on an appeal were again successful, was wholly incorrect. The case in issue is not a patent suit in the United States courts, but an interference suit in the patent office, to decide priority of invention. The state of the suit is just here: Evidence was taken to show when the respective inventions were made. Rebuttal and sur-rebuttal followed. The Lamson company then desired to put in still more evidence. The examiner of interferences allowed them to put in testimony on certain points, but on one point refused. The Lamson company appealed to the commissioner of patents for permssion to put in testimony on all points testified to by the Dennis company in sur-rebuttal. At the same time the Dennis company appealed to the commissioner, asking that he refuse to allow the Lamson company to put in any further evidence. The commissioner decided in favor of the Lamson company, allowing them all they asked, which decision was given June 21. Still more testimony will be taken in the case in September or October. There can be no final decision for nine months or a year to come. Furthermore, the decision of the next question in controversy is not of great importance to the Lamson company, as they have several other devices which could be substituted for the switch in question. With regard to the ball, which it is claimed that the Flagg company own an interest in, it appears that some years ago, one Patterson in Nashville, Tenn., took out a patent for a hotel annunciator which claimed a combination of a tube and a ball, or an arrow, but did not claim the ball or tube alone. Mr. Lamson purchased a one-third interest in that patent, which would allow him, if need be, to use the tube principle in cash carriers. The Lamson people do not attach any importance to the interest which they have in this patent, although if they owned only 100th part of it they would have perfect right, under the patent laws, to use it. The principle of the cash carrier ball, as used in the Lamson system, is fully protected by solid letters patent, issued to Mr. Lamson and to others, and owned solely by the Lamson company. This company has just taken orders for a system of 125 stations for Frederick Loeser & Co., of Brooklyn, N. Y., and 100 stations for Stern Bros, of New York city. They have put in 95 store service systems since March 1. They have now on exhibition at their office a beautiful model of their system, which is to accompany their agent who sails July 5 for Europe. It will be exhibited in England, France, Germany, Austria and other countries where the company own patents. They expect large returns from their enterprise abroad. All who are interested in cash railways, and all who admire the beautiful in mechanical art should visit their office, No. 178 Devonshire steeet, and examine this model.