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U.S. Supreme Court

Rubber Company v. Goodyear, 76 U.S. 9 Wall. 788 788 (1869)

Rubber Company v. Goodyear

76 U.S. (9 Wall.) 788


1. Where a patentee dies, the surrogate of the place where the decedent was domiciled properly has jurisdiction to take probate of his will and issue letters testamentary.

2. Where several executors are appointed by the will of a patentee decedent -- provision being made, however, for one alone acting -- and but one proves the will and receives the letters of administration, he alone can maintain till action for infringement of the letters patent at common law.

3. Under the laws of the United States, where a patent is granted by the government to C. G. as executor, he can maintain a suit on the patent in all respects as if he had been designated in the patent as trustee instead of executor.

4. An objection to the authority of an executor to maintain a suit on letters patent should be taken by a plea in abatement.

5. The novelty of the Charles Goodyear patent for vulcanized rubber sustained.

6. A patentee or his representative in a reissue may enlarge or restrict the claim so as to give it validity and secure the invention.

7. A process and the product of a process may be both new and patentable, and are wholly disconnected and independent of each other.

8. Extended letters patent cannot be abrogated in any collateral proceeding for fraud.

9. A license to use an invention by a person only at "his own establishment" does not authorize a use at an establishment owned by himself and others.

10. In taking an account, the master is not limited to the date of entering the decree; he can extend it down to the time of the hearing before him.

11. An objection that the word "patented" was not affixed by the complainant, under section 13 of Act of March 2, 1861, must be taken in the answer if it is intended to be raised at the hearing or before the master.

12. A decree

"for all the profits made in violation of the rights of the complainants under the patents aforesaid by respondents by the manufacture, use, or sale of any of the articles named in the bill of complaint"

is correct in form.

13. Profits are rightly estimated by the master by finding the difference between cost and sales.

14. In estimating this cost, the elements of cost of materials, interest, expense of manufacture and sale, and bad debts, considered by a manufacturer in finding his profits, are to be taken into account, and no others.

Page 76 U. S. 789

15. Interest on capital stock and "manufacturer's profits" were properly disallowed by the master.

16. Profits due to elements not patented which entered into the composition of the patented article may sometimes be allowed. They were, however, properly disallowed in this particular case.

17. Extraordinary salaries were properly disallowed by the master on the ground that they were dividends of profit under another name.

This case involved various questions arising upon the well known patent of Charles Goodyear for what is commonly styled vulcanized India rubber, and on different surrenders to himself, as also, after his death, to his testamentary executors.

The novelty of Goodyear's invention was also brought into question.

The reader is referred for the case to the statement of it as made in the opinion.

Page 76 U. S. 789

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