Series III, Legal File, contains legal records documenting the numerous patent disputes and agreements which involved the Individual Drinking Cup Company and its successors (1908-1958). There are also several files on the subject of merger negotiations (1928-1957).
The earliest legal records concern a suit brought against the Public Cup Vendor Company by the American Water Supply Company of New England for non- payment of patent royalties (See Appendix C.1). Another file documents a patent development dispute with the Public Service Cup Company (1914-1919), makers of the “Lily” Cup, and is the first of several cases between Moore’s company and this major competitor in the cup industry. The Lily-Tulip Pleated Cup Agreement file (1928-1930) contains material regarding the Individual Drinking Cup Company’s patent license negotiations following the merger of its two largest competitors (See Appendix C.2). The Walking-Sundae papers (1933- 1936) contain material regarding the display of a disputed trade-mark on Dixie containers. Attorney Clifford Dunn handled most of these early patent and trade-mark cases.
The details of a particularly difficult legal case, Individual Drinking Cup Company (Dixie-Vortex after 1936) vs. Lily-Tulip Cup Corporation, are documented in the legal files (1934-1939) turned over to Hugh Moore by the firm of Milans & Milans (Calvin T. and Joseph H.) who were based in Washington, D.C. This firm represented the Individual Drinking Cup Co. in numerous patent and trade-mark cases-Attorney J.P. Campbell handled most of the negotiations with Hugh Moore. These files include extensive correspondence regarding the original suit and appeals, patent investigations, certified copies of patents applications, published patents cited in suit, blueprints, photographs, and the official transcript of the court record. There is also correspondence with other members of Dixie’s legal team including Moses & Nolte of New York, the firm of Charles W. Hills of Chicago, representing the Vortex interests, and C.J. Thatcher, consulting engineer (See also Appendix C.2).
The Paper Container Manufacturing Company files (1941-1949) contain the records of a dispute over patents held by Leo J. Hulseman and Herman Carew. The cases were handled for Dixie by the firm of Charles W. Hills; resident counsel, Martin Merson; and Thomas L. Marshall of Bell, Boyd & Marshall (See also Appendix C.3). See Series I and II for additional correspondence and reports pertaining to these and other patent cases. Also extensive are the files on the American Paper Goods Company’s ‘Puritan’ cup infringement of the Johnson (Adam Period) design patent, and disputes with the United States Drinking Cup Co. and the Sanitary Products Corporation of America.
Of particular interest are the Cesare Barbieri files (1939-1956) which contain correspondence and legal documents regarding the financial arrangement which Barbieri had with the Dixie Cup Company after it merged with Barbieri’s former employee, the Vortex Cup Company of Chicago. Vortex had agreed, in 1920, to pay Barbieri substantial royalties from the patents issued to him for the development of their cone-shaped cup machinery. Although the arrangement was always under negotiation, Dixie-Vortex Company agreed to continue royalty payments to Barbieri after the merger in 1936. Throughout the 1940s Barbieri served as a part-time consultant to Dixie’s development department. Finally, in 1952, Dixie persuaded Barbieri that the profit from the sale of the cone- shaped cups was declining and the royalty percentage should be modified accordingly. Since an illness began to restrict his services to the company, Barbieri agreed to forego payments between 1953-1955 in excess of one-hundred thousand dollars a year due to him under the contract. Barbieri died in 1956, and in his will bequeathed all his remaining right, title and interest with Dixie to establish and maintain a pension fund for Dixie employees. After some legal maneuvering the bequest was designated a charitable trust for Dixie employees. Attorney Dean Pine represented Dixie’s interests in this matter; Alfred J. L’Heureux was counsel for the Barbieri estate.
Some of the correspondence also pertains to the Cesare Barbieri Endowment which Barbieri established in 1948 to restore and assist the University of Bologna in Italy. The Endowment formed an American Committee to sponsor aid and assistance of which Moore became a member. For additional files regarding Barbieri see Series I which document Barbieri’s special concern for Dixie employee Wilbur Soulis’ family after Soulis’ death in 1950. Barbieri contributed a total of $40,000.000 by 1953 to the Bethlehem (PA) Poor Fund-which distributed the funds to various families, including the Soulis family. See also the records of the manufacturing department in Series IV which contain extensive correspondence between Barbieri and Soulis regarding machine development.
The Merger files (1928-1957) contain material about companies that Hugh Moore considered candidates for a merger with his company. The files include investigative material on the Vortex Cup Company (1924-1936) and the Lily- Tulip Corporation (1928-1931). The bulk of these files (1953-1957) contain investigative files which led to the merger with American Can Company in 1957.