Beginning before 1946 Joseph H. Hoern and Carl E. Dilts had a partnership designing and building machine tools (we do not know what name they had been operating under). In March 1946, Hoern and Dilts signed a licensing agreement with New Britain Machine Co., giving that firm exclusive rights to build the men's designs for "cam and pneumatic actuated type boring machines" of non-indexing, non-continuous type. In September of 1946, the two men established Hoern & Dilts, Inc., and began making indexing and continuous cam-actuated boring machines. In 1950, New Britain discovered that Hoern & Dilts were now making non-indexing non-continuous boring machines, and complained that their exclusivity agreement was being violated. Later that same year New Britain reached new agreements with Hoern & Dilts, Inc., and with the two men. Hoern & Dilts, Inc., agreed to cease making the machines to which New Britain had exclusivity, and various details of the exclusivity arrangement were tweaked.
In 1955, New Britain acquired the assets of Hoern & Dilts, Inc. and continued to operate it as the Hoern & Dilts Division of New Britain Machine Co.; the two men apparently did not remain in New Britain's employ. In 1959 Hoern and Dilts were awarded a patent on an improved non-indexing non-continuous boring machine, and New Britain introduced a machine, the Model BV, based on the patented design. Hoern and Dilts sued New Britain for royalties owing. New Britain claimed that the 1946 and '50 agreements gave them royalty-free rights to all of Hoern and Dilts' past and future designs for non-indexing non-continuous boring machines. The courts found in favor of Hoern and Dilts and royalties of about $200,000 were assessed. That decision came in 1964; Hoern had died two years earlier.