I hope that the judgment of the court filled more than one person with disgust at the suggestion that the "good 'ol boy" network had been at work.
Thanks to the volumes of data on Ancestry. com, we find that John Mason was born Apr 6, 1868, in Manhattan, NY, son of James Mason and Marie Louise Youngs. In an passport application dated 1889, he states his father "was," which suggest he was dead by this time - and it was very tough to find any reference to James prior, except in the 1860 Census for Oyster Bay in which he was 45, a "gentleman," with real estate and personal property of $20,000 each. Also found in the 1889 passport application was John's stated occupation: Jeweler.
When he returned to the US, John married at Trinity Chapel, on May 22, 1890, Bertha Emily Frame, daughter of Charles Patience Frame and Caroline Willets. The couple spent enough time together to produce three children (the second was born in France.) By the 1900 Census, Bertha was maintaining a separate household on 15 Central Street in Winchester, Massachusetts, with her three children. John stayed in NYC for the 1900 Census, gave his age as 31, status married for the last 11 years, and occupation as Artist.
In the 1886 City Directory, Louise M, widow of James - home: 218 East 11th Street
In the 1889 City Directory, Louise M., widow of James - home: 35 west 17th Street
John, jeweler, 15 Union Square - home 35 west 17th Street
On May 2, 1906, John married Effie Afton Clark, daughter of George K. Clark and Isabel Lathrop. John and Effie remained together until his death sometime betwen 1930 and 1940. In 1910, they were in Old Saybrook, CT, and in addition to keeping the first three children by Bertha, they had at least six children of their own. John was still an artist. In the 1920 Census, they are found in Philadelphia, PA, and John is now an inventor. By 1930, Effie is still married, but John in not in the household. By 1940, Effie's marital status is "widowed," and she is living in Philadelphia with her single son George. [Bertha, who stated on one of her passport applications that her husband died in 1902 (making it easier to travel abroad unescorted?), was finally a "widow" in 1940, living in Kings Co, NYC, with her sister.]
John did submit two patents in 1890, one to fill knife handles with aluminum to make them lighter, and a design for spoons and forks. I could not find whether anything came of these, or whether as an inventor, he continued to submit patents for his inventions. But at least now, we know a part of the rest of the story.