Marie Killick started manufacturing business in Maida Vale London of steel recording cutters for direct recording on the battlefields for the War Office


25th October 1945: Application for British Patent to cover Marie’s invention of sound reproduction stylus. Marie had also applied for patents covering her stylus around the world. Pye Radio Ltd opposed her application for a patent – they claimed it was not novel or valid.


8th November: Marie Killick application for British Patent to cover an automatic machine capable of making 10,000 styli per week. Application No.30004


7th October 1946: Complete specification submitted to the Patent Office for her stylus


Decca Ltd offers Marie £75,000 for her British Patent rights. They stated that it had passed all known tests and it was the best thing on the market. Marie refused the offer.


Marie enters into a contract with Shannon & Bishop for sole distribution rights of her stylus Sapphox. They agreed to take delivery of 1,000, quickly raising to 2,000 a week as demand rose. They broke their contract when they heard there was something similar on the market.


8th June 1948: Complete specification pf Marie’s invention accepted by the Patent Office.


Marie flew to Switzerland to try and find other markets and start up manufacture there.


18th June: Full British Patent granted, serial No. 603606


Unknown to Marie, Pye and other firms started to manufacture her invention.


16th May 1949: Letter from Circuits Management Association Ltd regarding the outstanding sound quality of Sapphox. The management placed Sapphox in their Odeon cinema in Leicester Square in London. During the six month run of the film Hamlet they had used Sapphox on the two sets of records played during the interval of the film. The quality of the sound was such they were going to use Sapphox in all their cinemas as installations were made.


Marie put her British Patent up for sale to test the market and try to find out what the cause of the blockage to her business was. Pye Ltd was one of the firms who responded to the advertisement. At a meeting with her Pye stated, they had been making and marketing her invention very successfully – that they were a million air company and would come to a settlement with her. Marie informed them they would be hearing from her solicitor.


E.M.I. Responded to the advert for sale of the patent. On learning that it was Patent 603606, they told her that the patent had lapsed in October 1949. Marie applies to have the patent restored – claiming her patent agent Gill Jennings & Every had neglected to pay the fees. They also neglected to pay the fees for her other patents granted in other countries.

5th December: Claiming that her patent agent neglected to pay the renewal fees, Marie applies to have British Patent 603606 restored.


13th February 1951: Pye objects to the restoration of the British Patent on the grounds that failure to pay the renewal fees was not unintentional and that there was undue delay in the making of the application.


They also so stated that since the date of the Patent’s lapse “They had commenced the manufacture of a sapphire stylus to which the patent relates. They also stated “It was only when she learned that the opponents were making sapphire styli that the patentee wished that the patent had been renewed.


17th September: Marie’s solicitor writes to Pye requesting the number of styli manufactured between October 1949 and November 1951, and then outside the period of the lapsed patent. Also how many styli exhibited in Exhibition in Earl’s Court. They also want to know the number of styli made to Marie’s design they have in stock. They also request Pye’s manufacturing drawing.


At a meeting with Mr Schuman of Cosmocord asked Marie if she would consider manufacturing 20,000 a week. This firm were under sub-contract to Pye Ltd.

Marie obtains a Legal Aid Certificate to fight Pye.

Marie tries to re-start Killick & Company. Attempt failed due to infringement


4th August 1953: Writ issued on Pye to restrain them from infringing Marie’s patent covering her sound reproducing stylus and an enquiry delivery up of all infringed articles.


Measurements of Pye’s ‘Universal’ stylus taken by National Physical Laboratory.