Butterworth v. Hill
114 U.S. 128 (1885)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Butterworth v. Hill, 114 U.S. 128 (1885)

Butterworth v. Hill

Argued March 9, 1885

Decided March 30, 1885

114 U.S. 128

Syllabus

The provision in § 739 that no suit shall be brought in a circuit or district court of the United States against an inhabitant of the United States, by original process, in any other district than that of which he is an inhabitant

Page 114 U. S. 129

or in which he may be found at the time of serving the writ applies to suits in equity under § 4915 Rev.Stat. to procure the issue of letters patent for an invention after rejection of the application therefor.

The official residence of the Commissioner of Patents is at Washington, in the District of Columbia.

A written acceptance by the Commissioner of Patents at Washington of service of a subpoena issued by the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Vermont on a bill in equity filed in that court, "to have the same effect as if duly served on me by a proper officer," has no other effect than the regular service by a proper officer would have had, and waives no objection to jurisdiction, and gives no consent to be sued away from his residence or from the seat of government.

A notice by the Commissioner of Patents to counsel that he has accepted service of a subpoena in manner above described, and has received a copy of the bill, and that he shall not appear in defense notifies him that further proceedings will be taken without consent of the Commissioner to the jurisdiction of the court.

Bill in equity originally commenced against Mr. Marble as Commissioner of Patents. Mr. Butterworth, his successor, subsequently appeared below and brought the cause here on appeal. The cause was argued here on its merits and on the jurisdictional question on which it turned. The facts as to the latter are stated in the opinion of the Court.

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