Key documents

Documents relating to Sapphox, infringement and legal action

These documents show the impact that Sapphox made on the musical world – so much so that Pye Ltd and others were forced to infringe the patent covering Sapphox; otherwise they would only be able to offer the public the steel needles of the day, which caused so much damage to the record in only one playing!

Sales Brochure for Marie Killick’s invention Sapphox. This stylus was able to play all speeds of gramophone records and was selling like hot cakes when Pye Ltd and other companies started to manufacture a copy and flooded the market – squeezing her out of business.
Letter from CMS regarding the outstanding sound quality of Sappox. The management placed Sapphox in their Odeon cinema in Leicester Square, 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 they were going to use Sapphox in all their cinemas as instalations were made.
First page of the Letters Patent 603606 granted to Marie Killick to protect her invention of a truncated gramophone stylus. 
Drawing of Marie Killick’s invention – Truncated gramophone sound reproduction stylus – the jewel at its tip, ground to a flat, rode on the sides of the record groove.
Pye Radio’s manufacturing drawing presented to court – found to infringe Marie Killick’s patent
High Court Writ issued on Pye Ltd August 13 1953 claiming infringment of Marie Killick’s Patent
Telegram sent from Marie Killick’s solicitors informing her of the date of Pye Ltd’s appeal against the Chancery Division of the High Court’s judgement against them for infringement of Marie’s Patent.
Press report of the musical combines’ concern over the judgement against Pye Ltd upheld in the Appeal Court and what it may mean to these companies.
Telegram to Justice Lloyd-Jacob over Marie’s difficulty in retaining solicitor for Damages
Marie Killick engaged an American Attorney to try to get round the blockage she was experiencing – she had been forced into bankruptcy and the Official Receiver wanted to settle with Pye Ltd for a derisory amount. Pye had bought one of her debts and when Marie attempted to sell an interest in her British Patent, as one of her creditors, Pye was informed and the deals fell through one after another. Maria took the Official Receiver to court in an attempt to prevent him from settling with Pye Ltd.
The letter from Marie’s solicitor’s stating that Pye Ltd was one of her creditors and therefore had access to any negotiations she may have to try to raise money to pay her creditors in full.
Copy of a draft agreement Marie negotiated with the Banque de Paris to raise money on the remaining life of her patent, which would enable her to clear her debts in full and regain the right to pursue her damage claim with Pye Ltd. The Offical Receiver refused to inform the creditors of the draft agreement – she was asking for a few more days to fly back to Paris and conclude the deal. She was forced to stand up at the meeting to inform the creditors committee herself but was told by the Official Receiver to ‘shut up and sit down’. On his advice, the committee decided to have her declared bankrupt.