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

Below, you can explore the complete timeline of Marie’s invention and legal battles.

Marie Killick Timeline


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


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


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.


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


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.


1st May 1955: Pye tries to get Marie’s Legal Aid Certificate revoked and put in a counterclaim that the Patent was invalid. Similar view of her Patent agent on application for a patent. They also state her Patent is dubious and a court case is not in the National Interest!


21st December: Judgement given in Marie’s favour by Chancery Division of High Court of Justice. An injunction to restrain Pye from manufacturing or selling the infringed stylus was made by Justice Lloyd-Jacob and an order to deliver up to Marie or destroy under oath, the remaining infringed articles.   Note:


22nd July 1958: Pye Ltd lose their Appeal against the Judgement in the High Court. There are no grounds for Pye to appeal to the House of Lords.   Marie and her solicitors and accountants start compiling evidence of the damage she suffered due to their infringement.   At some

January – March 1959

11th January 1959: Telegram to Justice Lloyd-Jacob regarding the blockage Marie is experiencing in pursuing the assessment of her damage claim against Pye. She has tried four solicitors who all believe that the matter is to complex for them. She is also experiencing anonymous phone calls (see documents).   31st

April – June 1959

11th April 1959: Letter from Mr Dicks to Pye’s solicitors re: Heads of Damage. Why is Mr Dicks still involved 5 months after resigning from the case?   17th April: Summons to have the judgement of Mrs Thomas set aside. Marie contends the debt was to Mr Thomas supported by agreement she

July – September 1959

22nd July 1959: Justice Lloyd-Jacob’s direction for Pye to make available for inspection their books and documents relating to his judgement of their infringement of Marie’s patent. (One Year after the Judge ordered Pye to reveal their books!)   29th July: During the hearing in the Brighton County Court Marie’s

October – December 1959

16th October: Letter from Mr Bradley-Hole to Marie to say that he has received notice that a fee of £20 must be paid by the 25th of the month if the British Patent is to be kept in force for a further year. He states that he has no funds


A letter from Marie’s solicitors to the Brighton County Court to say that they are instructed to apply by Motion to Immediately to Restrain the Official Receiver from accepting a payment of £4,330 in full discharge of all claims by the estate against Pye Ltd. “So far as we have been


Marie battles with the Official Receiver through the courts, to prevent him from settling with Pye Ltd.


Marie, determined not to be robbed of her damages, had battled on through months of pain and illness. Eventually, pneumonia, cancer of the spine and lungs took her life on 20th January 1964. She died penniless and homeless after the Official Receiver, despite all her efforts to prevent him, settled