E. W. BLISS CO. V. UNITED STATES, 253 U. S. 187 (1920)

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U.S. Supreme Court

E. W. Bliss Co. v. United States, 253 U.S. 187 (1920)

E. W. Bliss Co. v. United States

No. 240

Argued March 12, 15, 1920

Decided May 17, 1920

253 U.S. 187


Petitioner averred that it granted the government's request for permission to purchase from another certain torpedoes containing a device in which the petitioner claimed patent rights, upon a royalty the amount of which was "to be later settled," and that the government purchased, but it also alleged that negotiations to settle the amount to be paid failed and that petitioner never consented to the use of the patented invention without payment of an amount of royalty which the government refused to pay. Held that no express or implied contract to pay any royalty, cognizable by the Court of Claims under Jud.Code § 145, could be derived from the facts stated. P. 253 U. S. 189.

To maintain an infringement suit against the United States under the Act of June 25, 1910, the claimant must have at least such an interest in the patent as, independently of that act, would support a suit against a defendant other than the United States. P. 253 U. S. 191.

A grant by a prospective patentee of the "sole and exclusive license" to use the invention for the full term of patents to be procured, on designated articles, only when sold to the United States, the grantee undertaking to pay a royalty on each such article fitted with the invention and the grantor at its own cost to procure patent and to defend "the license to use . . . hereby granted" against infringers is a mere license, and will not sustain a suit for infringement. P. 253 U. S. 192.

53 Ct.Clms. 47 affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

Page 253 U. S. 188

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