“There has been so much haze and mist thrown around the subject of Fountain Pen patents by those who have been interested in so doing, that we thought it best to issue a little statement to the trade.
We have nothing to conceal: Have no apologies to make. We believe that the world is abundantly large to furnish anyone a good opportunity to display his talents, if he has any, in selling goods that are good enough to sell on their merits.
We desire to call your attention to the unfair, unbusinesslike and cowardly attempts on the part of the L. L. Waterman Pen Co., to secure business for their company. They send their travelers to solicit business, and when they call on a dealer who is selling Parker Fountain Pens, if they cannot sell this dealer Waterman Fountain Pens, (which is the case in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred) if they think he will stand it they attempt to brow-beat him and dictate to him what pen he shall handle and what pen he shall not, claiming that the cap used on the Parker Pen is an infringement on the Waterman. If the dealer insists upon managing his own affairs, and tells the traveler to mind his, then the traveler sends in the name of the dealer to the Waterman Pen Co., and the dealer receives a stereotyped form letter signed by L. E. Waterman or an alleged attorney for the Waterman Pen Co.; claiming that the Parker Pen Cap is. an infringement on the Waterman, and intimating that suit are pending against the Parker Pen Co., to enjoin from the manufacture of our Anti- Break Cap. ”
”It is perhaps needless to say that the above-mentioned letter gives every evidence of a case of “sour grapes”, or as some people might say, “the ravings of an old man in his dotage.”
Waterman has never brought suit against the Parker Pen Co., nor has he ever won any suit against any company where the validity of his patent, or patents, has been in question. Under the circumstances, it is plain to be seen that it required a large amount of liquid air nerve to say to a dealer not to buy any Parker Pens until the suit was decided, (which had ‘never been begun.)
The question naturally arises: If Waterman was so sure he was being infringed upon, why did he not commence suit against the manufacturer, and meet competition openly in a straightforward, manly way, instead of misrepresenting facts to dealers.
To have the appearance of being consistent and to further mystify the trade, Waterman, learning that one of our travelers was in Philadelphia last fall, had papers served on him, as though he were the Parker Pen Co., and immediately commenced to advertise that suit was pending against the Parker Pen Co. The matter was brought before Judge Dallas of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, who at once threw the case out of court, with costs taxed up to the Waterman Pen Co., and told the Waterman Co. that if the Parker Pen Co. was sued, suit must be brought against the company itself.
From this decision the Waterman Pen Co. appealed, and it may be of farther interest to you to know that the Court of Appeals sustained the decision of the lower Court, and the Waterman Pen Co. were again beaten, with additional costs taxed up to them.
Mr. Waterman claims he was the inventor(?) of a taper cap. The patent office again says that: the records show some seventeen different fountain pen patents, which show the taper joint, all prior to the inventor(?) Waterman’s application: Nevertheless, Waterman filed his application for patent on taper joint! All the claims were rejected by the patent office and Waterman evidently concluded that he was not the real inventor, for he abandoned the application. It was difficult for him to see why he was not the inventor, even though the patent office records showed many similar previous inventions, So finally he again filed another application for the same thing he had abandoned on account of want of novelty and patentability. It was turned down by the patent office again and again, for a period of several years, until 1898, when the patent was finally allowed by Waterman’s acquiescing that the material (hard rubber) of which his cap was made was radically elastic, Is it?
About the only real use his cap patent can be put to is for the purpose of a “bluff.”
It is a well-known fact that the United States government will not issue two patents for the same device or invention. When an application for a patent is filed, search is made in the patent office for prior inventions: if any are found there then applicant must change his application, otherwise no patent will be issued. Where a patent drags along in the patent office year after year it is because the Patent Examiner cannot find a patentable invention.
This is the history of the subject. Patent lawyers laugh at the idea of a cap patent, such as Waterman’s, ever being sustained by any court, as this style joint has been used many, many times before Waterman commenced to be the “original inventor.”
Contrast the history of the Parker Anti-Break Cap patent (which was filed in the patent office April 9th, 1900, and notice of allowance received June 18th, 1900, which prompt allowance of patent shows that no similar invention has ever been filed with the patent office, thus insuring a strong, valid patent with that of Waterman as outlined in the foregoing and draw your own conclusions.
As Waterman claims that all he does is done in the interests of the trade, we know he will be glad to have us inform you of the truth in the matter as we have done in this little leaflet.
“You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”
Let every dealer fully understand this matter. Our goods are covered by strong and valid patents belonging to us. They infringe the right of no one. We will guarantee full protection to every dealer who handles the Parker Pen. We have not only the disposition, but the money as well to protect not only our rights but the rights of our customers as well.
It is perhaps quite generally known that Waterman’s patent on his feeder containing the open channel and slits, or fissures, in same, expired some time ago, so that anyone can make an exact duplicate of the Waterman feeder and fissures, if they so desire.
We believe every dealer into whose hands this little leaflet goes, and who will take the trouble to read it and verify it, will refuse to be dictated to as to what pen he shall buy or what pen he shall not buy, and further refuse to be a cat’s paw to pull chestnuts out of the fire for someone else.
If we cannot win your trade by fair, open competition on honorable lines, then we do not want it.
THE PARKER PEN CO., Janesville, Wis. U.S. A.”
”PATENTS. The Geo. S. Parker Fountain Pen is made under letters patent.
- No, 455,023, issued June 30, 1894;
- No. 512,359, issued January 9, 1894;
- No. 606,231, issued June 28, 1898;
- No. 622,256, issued April 4, 1899;
- No, 635,700, issued October 24, 1899.
These patents were all issued to our Mr. Geo. S. Parker. They have been passed upon by the best legal authority obtainable in the country and pronounced strong, valid patents. These patents do not interfere with the established rights of any other patentee. Our business has in a comparatively short time grown up from very humble beginnings to be at the present time one of the largest, if not the largest, of its kind in the world. It has not been. built up by lying, misrepresentations or fraud, or slandering our competitors. We believe no permanent success can come to any man or firm, who adopts such measures.
A somewhat detailed account of the fountain pen situation is due from us, on account of the unfair and unbusinesslike representations made to the trade by the Waterman Pen Co. and their representatives.”
”Mr. Waterman claims he has invented the taper inside cap, which is now in use in many fountain pens. Does he not know that this principle is as old as the hills, so to speak? That it has been used in nearly all the arts? Is used in faucets, valves, corks, cruets, stove pipes, collapsible drinking cups, and is shown in some seventeen fountain pen patents granted many years before the self-alleged inventor(?) made application for his patent?
In 1894, Mr. Waterman made application for patent for taper inside cap, etc. The Patent Office rejected every claim he made and told him of a number of patents wherein it was already shown. Mr. Waterman, then withdrew and abandoned the application.
After thinking the matter over again, evidently, he came to the conclusion that he must be the original inventor, even though the taper inside cap and-taper barrel had already been shown in some seventeen different patents. So, he filed another application. ‘The Patent Office again rejected his claims and again cited him to others who had shown the same invention over and over again.
One particular patent he was cited to and that was the Hamilton patent granted in 1873, which shows the taper cap and taper barrel without any shoulder. What kind of an argument do you suppose Waterman made through his attorney to worm around this patent which shows in it all that Waterman wanted to claim for his invention? He told the examiner. in substance, that “evidently Mr. Hamilton’s draughtsman made a mistake in showing the taper cap and taper barrel,” as Mr. Hamilton did not claim credit for the tapers.
After the application had been repeatedly rejected in the Patent Office for years it was finally allowed, by Waterman acquiescing that the material of which the “progressive non-capillary wedge-union joint” was made, must be radically elastic Waterman still uses hard rubber, and shows that he himself does not believe in his absurd claim.
Did Mr. Hamilton’s draughtsman make a mistake in showing in his patent of 1873 all that Waterman would have the public believe belongs to him? We hunted up Mr. Hamilton and found that he is a reputable citizen, a resident of Yonkers, N. Y., and an architect and engineer of much ability doing business in New York City at the present time. The letters from him herewith are of special interest and worthy of careful reading.
209 Woodworth Ave., Yonkers, N. Y. October 23rd, 1899
Mr. Geo. S. Parker—.
Dear Sir: Your favor of the 21st inst. at hand, and I can assure you that I am the original inventor of the cap slipping upon the taper holder and I can produce the original fountain pen that my patent was procured from, and this same one was made three or four years before | had it patented, so it is at least thirty years since I made the same. Mr. Whitney has not called upon me yet and as soon as I see him, I will make some arrangement by which you can have the original fountain pen that I spoke of, and further information that you may require you are at liberty to call upon me at any time.
Henry H. Hamilton, M. Engineer and Architect, New York City. 209 Woodworth Ave., Yonkers, N. Y., November 3rd, 1899
Mr. Geo. S. PARKER—.
Dear Sir: Your letter of the 30th inst. received, and in response to same I will send the model by express. This model is df course very crude and you can see by examining the holder that it is tapered, and the cap has a taper also to shove the same over the holder. I could not in this model show as much taper as | wished, but in the drawing filed in the Patent Office it is shown there exactly as intended. As for Mr. Waterman saying that such was an error of the draughtsman, he would make me a perjurer. I have been a draughtsman for many years, and an honest and reliable man don’t do those things and I stand too high in the engineering profession to have anyone question such a thing. And E as an engineer, do not see that Mr. Waterman has any claim, or will the same stand in court. Yours sincerely, Henry H, Hamilton, M. Engineer and Architect.
In order to better appreciate and understand the situation, we reproduce from Mr. Hamilton’s patent the cut shown, which is a sectional view. Do you notice the taper cap and taper barrel without shoulder, so that the cap for its retention on the barrel depends upon the progressive union and non-capillary joint?
We reproduce Mr. Cooley’s pen, which was patented in 1895, which has the progressive non-capillary joint, though not claimed by him, as he considered it old and merely showed this style as a preferred form. We have Mr. Cooley’s affidavit that he made this style of holder and cap in 1891.
Mr. Waterman claims he invented a new force in hard rubber not previously known, in the way two pieces of rubber will adhere so as to form a non-capillary joint. Was Waterman aware that in 1860 a collapsible drinking cup made of hard rubber was patented and large numbers sold and still being sold by the India Rubber Co., of New York, which has the identical non-capillary joint that the alleged inventor(?) would have people believe he re-invented some thirty-five years later? We show herewith an exact reproduction of this cup.
It is made of tapered, thin, flat rings about an inch in diameter. The rings are tapered sufficiently so that when the cu is extended, each piece, in connection with its fellow, forms a “progressive non-capillary joint,” otherwise it would not hold water, which it does perfectly. When the cup is not in use, the rings are collapsed, so that the cup is only of the thickness of one ring, and over the inside ring is fitted a cap with bevel inside taper, by which it holds the cup in compact pocket form.
These are only a few of the many illustrations of which we might make use. For the sake of brevity, we will submit only a partial list of fountain pen patents, showing a more or less taper cap and barrel, which can easily be verified by anyone having access to the Patent Office records.
Do you now understand why Waterman talks of it being his duty to annoy the dealer who is an innocent party, instead of coming to the “fountain head” and suing us? If we were infringing, he could soon secure an injunction restraining us from manufacturing any more such goods. When pushed into a corner for a reason why he does not attack the Parker Pen Co., he says we “are not responsible.” We ask our customers to write to any bank or banker in the city of Janesville; consult the Bradstreet or Dun commercial agencies. Get what they say and see if we are responsible or if Waterman has deliberately told an untruth.
It is not generally known, yet it is a fact, that one of Waterman’s “earlier patents” which he claims is infringed (No. 307,735) expired about a year ago and the other earlier patent (No. 293,545) will expire in about one year more. This, then, is one of the reasons why he wants to throw ammonia in the eyes of the dealer and make a great noise so he can frighten the timid dealer and drive him along a little farther while squeezing him for fancy prices. Waterman’s only remaining “earlier patent,” which expires in about one year as noted above, numbered 293,545 purports to cover capillary slits in the bottom of the-ink duct, which our pens do not employ. Our construction is entirely different. Instead of a fissure in the bottom of the ink duct, we lay a round rubber rod along its bottom.
Waterman’s patents have never been adjudicated. He has never received a decision for or against his patents where validity was in question. If you are asked by any company to pay profits you have made on pens you have sold other than their made, treat such a company exactly as you would a highway robber, for they have the same rights and are worthy of the same treatment.
We trust no dealer will sign away his independence or manhood ‘o any firm who is unwilling to prove its case. Let no dealer be thrown off his guard. Do not be misled by the bull-dozing letters you may receive from the Waterman Co., or the possible visit of an alleged attorney probably hired on percentage for the purpose of scaring dealers who do not know the facts in the case. Comparatively few dealers understand patent law, and this is the stock in trade f this supposedly gentleman.
Every dealer selling the Parker Pen will be given ample and full protection for so doing, and in case of suit being brought against him, we will defend it at our own expense, by our own lawyers, if defense be turned over to us. We will thank every dealer who receives threatening letters or personal visits in which blackmail is attempted on account of selling Parker Pens, to report same to us promptly.
Sincerely your friends,
THE PARKER PEN COMPANY, Janesville, Wis., U.S. A.”