"I have to mention the name of one expert whose testimony will, I believe, be found as accurate, as sincere, as straightforward as if it were the preaching of the gospel. I do it with great pleasure, and I ask you to read the testimony of Charles L. Clarke along with that of Thomas A. Edison. He had rather a hard row to hoe. He is a young gentleman; he is a very well-instructed man in his profession; he is not what I have called in the argument below an expert in the art of testifying, like some of the others, he has not yet become expert; what he may descend to later cannot be known; he entered upon his first experience, I think, with my brother Duncan, who is no trifler when he comes to deal with these questions, and for several months Mr. Clarke was pursued up and down, over a range of suggestions of what he would have thought if he had thought something else had been said at some time when something else was not said."
Mr. Duncan--"I got three pages a day out of him, too."
Mr. Lowrey--"Well, it was a good result. It always recalled to me what I venture now, since my friend breaks in upon me in this rude manner, to tell the court as well illustrative of what happened there. It is the story of the pickerel and the roach. My friend, Professor Von Reisenberg, of the University of Ghent, pursued a series of investigations into the capacity of various animals to receive ideas. Among the rest he put a pickerel into a tank containing water, and separated across its middle by a transparent glass plate, and on the other side he put a red roach. Now your Honors both know how a pickerel loves a red roach, and I have no doubt you will remember that he is a fish of a very low forehead and an unlimited appetite. When this pickerel saw the red roach through the glass, he made one of those awful dashes which is usually the ruin of whatever stands in its-way; but he didn't reach the red roach. He received an impression, doubtless. It was not sufficient, however, to discourage him, and he immediately tried again, and he continued to try for three- quarters of an hour. At the end of three-quarters of an hour he seemed a little shaken and discouraged, and stopped, and the red roach was taken out for that day and the pickerel left. On the succeeding day the red roach was restored, and the pickerel had forgotten the impressions of the first day, and he repeated this again. At the end of the second day the roach was taken out. This was continued, not through so long a period as the effort to take my friend Clarke and devour him, but for a period of about three weeks. At the end of the three weeks, the time during which the pickerel persisted each day had been shortened and shortened, until it was at last discovered that he didn't try at all. The plate glass was then removed, and the pickerel and the red roach sailed around together in perfect peace ever afterward. The pickerel doubtless attributed to the roach all this shaking, the rebuff which he had received. And that is about the condition in which my brother Duncan and my friend Clarke were at the end of this examination."
Mr. Duncan--"I notice on the redirect that Mr. Clarke changed his color."
Mr. Lowrey--"Well, perhaps he was a different kind of a roach then; but you didn't succeed in taking him.
"I beg your Honors to read the testimony of Mr. Clarke in the light of the anecdote of the pickerel and the roach."
Owing to long-protracted delays incident to the taking of testimony and preparation for trial, the argument before the United States Circuit Court of Appeals was not had until the late spring of 1892, and its decision in favor of the Edison Lamp patent was filed on October 4, 1892, MORE THAN TWELVE YEARS AFTER THE ISSUANCE OF THE PATENT ITSELF.
As the term of the patent had been limited under the law, because certain foreign patents had been issued to Edison before that in this country, there was now but a short time left for enjoyment of the exclusive rights contemplated by the statute and granted to Edison and his assigns by the terms of the patent itself. A vigorous and aggressive legal campaign was therefore inaugurated by the Edison Electric Light Company against the numerous infringing companies and individuals that had sprung up while the main suit was pending. Old suits were revived and new ones instituted. Injunctions were obtained against many old offenders, and it seemed as though the Edison interests were about to come into their own for the brief unexpired term of the fundamental patent, when a new bombshell was dropped into the Edison camp in the shape of an alleged anticipation of the invention forty years previously by one Henry Goebel. Thus, in 1893, the litigation was reopened, and a protracted series of stubbornly contested conflicts was fought in the courts.