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Topic: Keely Chronology Stack
Section: The Motor Gets Into Court
Table of Contents to this Topic


NYT - Philadelphia, Jan. 3, 1888. - The latest development concerning the Keely motor is an injunction which was granted to-day against Mr. Keely. Bennett C. Wilson is the complainant, and from the array of eminent lawyers who apeared for him in the Court of Common Pleas No. 3 it seems that there is now a possibility of the world knowing in the near future more of this invention than has heretofore been given to it. Complainant Wilson is represented by Rufus E. Shapley, A. L. S. Shields, and the patent lawyers J. Bousall Taylor and United States Assistant Attorney-General William C. Strawbridge.

In the bill of equity Wilson says that in 1863, while buying and selling furniture in this city, he engaged the defendant, John W. Keely, to varish furniture. After being a short time in the workshop Wilson discovered that Keely was of an inventive turn of mind, and was desirous of inventing something to generate and utilize power. Soon after Keely entered into an agreement with Wilson to give his attention to the making and patenting of inventions. Wilson was to find the tools and materials, and pay the necessary expenses of such inventions as Keely should make. Wilson further says that Keely agreed that all inventions so made, together with all letters patent obtained, should be owned half and half by himself and Keely, and that Keely from 1863 up to about 1872, in pursuance of this contract, devoted himself to the making of inventions, Wilson finding all tools and materials and paying all expenses. Prior to Aug. 14. 1869, Keely, under the agreement, invented and reduced to practice the "Keely motor," and on the 14th of August, 1869, he assigned to Wilson "one full half ownership of the above-described principle or machine, and also of all improvements that may hereafter be made on the same, and also one-half of all moneys that may be derived from the sale or exhibition of the same."

In his bill Wilson further claims that late in August of 1869 Keely said it would soon be ready for sale, but he wanted funds, and Wilson furnished Keely with money. Keely then made an assignment in writing of his whole right and title, with all interest in said invention, to Wilson. Wilson alleges that only recently he became possessed of the knowledge that the machine now called the "Keely motor" is the same in construction and mode of operation as the motor made by Keely in 1869, and that year assigned to Wilson. The bill prays for an injunction restraining Keely from removing the machines or models known as the "Keely motor" from the places where they are actuated, and from changing or varying the construction or mode of operation of the same; also for an injunction restraining Keely from selling or assigning the inventions. The bill also asks that an order may be made compelling Keely to exhibit to the complainant all models, machines, and drawings of the invention referred to in the assignments to Wilson, and that an order be made compelling Keely to fully disclose the invention and the mode of constructing and operating it.

The court is further asked to order Keely to file proper applications for letters patent for the motor, and to execute and deliver to Wilson due and proper assignments in writing of the whole title and interest in and to the invention. It is further prayed that Keely may be compelled to account for and pay over to Wilson all gains and profits that have been received from the unlawful use of the invention, and that Keely, in addition, be decreed to pay the damages sustained by Wilson from such unlawful use, and that said Keely may be decreed to pay the cost of the suit.

The usual temporary injunction was granted. The case will be argued in a few days.
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