[D8954AAG], Letter from George Edward Gouraud to Thomas Alva Edison, January 22nd, 1889


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[D8954AAG], Letter from George Edward Gouraud to Thomas Alva Edison, January 22nd, 1889

Editor's Notes

Dear Edison, This letter will contain brief reference to two items of news, one bad and the other good. The first is that we have lost our action against the Gower Bell Company and have consequently to pay the costs which amount to 873.10.1 pounds, half of which I have paid and the other half of whih Messrs Mackerall will draw upon you at 20 days. It remains for us to determine whether we shall accept this defeat. The decision is considered by our Counsel as being most arbitrary, unreasonable and unfair, as both sides of the case were really not heard and further pursuit of the matter will involve a new trial, as to appeal upon the case as it is, would be to appeal upon an incomplete case. I am very much disgusted with the result and have not yet made up my mind whether I would like to pursue the matter further or not. If I had nothing else to do, I should, but these litigations make such a terrible draft upon one's time, mental and physical powers that I am loth to deprive my pursuit of the more important business of the Phonograph as must necessarily result. I shall be glad to have your feelings upon this question and if you prefer to pursue it I will do so, oute qui coute, otherwise I shall let the matter stand over as we are not compelled to decide one day or the other for several months to come, and perhaps, we can do so then with more deliberation than we can at the present moment. So much for the bad news. It is the first time in my life I have ever been beaten in an acction and I don't consider I have been beaten by reason of the facct that the case was notheard on both sides.##Now for the good news which more than compensates for the bad. The London Stereoscopic ocmpany tried to bully me into recognising that they had some rights under their original license. I completely knocked them out with the result that they had entirely abandoned their absured position as was evidenced in the most conclusive manner recently reported to you, of their having interposed objecctions to the issue of our new Phonograph Patent Case 84. They probably thought this would so frighten me that I would at oncce seek to compromise with them, but after the first shuffle of the cards they had to lead, and their lead was to apply to me for an extension of the time allowed by the law under which they were compelled to file partiulars of their objection. Instead of refusing an extension of time, which was practically asking me to give them more time to do me an injury, I cheerfully consented to give them all the time they wanted and stated as my reason for doing so, that if they opposed the issue of the patent they would have to develop all the weak points there were in our specification, and I would rather havev all the weak points taken out before the Patent was issued than have the Patent with them--the effect of this slap in the face was so successful that when the time of the extension that was so cheerfully acccorded them, expired, instead of filing their objections they withdrew their opposition stating that "the reason for their coming to this decision is that they are advised by experts that your claims do not comprise anything material to the manufacture of Phonographs." This may be taken as finishing the Stereoscopic episode. The last thing I heard before the decision arrived at, was from Kennard, the surviving partner of Nottage, the original lienses, an elderly and very rich man who, sent me word that he would spend every farthing of his fortune, and if he died before he had done that, leave his executors instructions to proceed until the issue of our Patents were prevented. I have not heard how he is since he got my last message which produced his withdrawal of the opposition. Very sincerely yours, G.E. Gouraud






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Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University
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