Evans v. Jordan & Morehead - 13 U.S. 199 (1815)
U.S. Supreme Court
Evans v. Jordan & Morehead, 13 U.S. 9 Cranch 199 199 (1815)
Evans v. Jordan & Morehead
13 U.S. (9 Cranch) 199
The Act of January, 1808, for the relief of Oliver Evans does not authorize those who erected his machinery between the expiration of his old patent and the issuing of the new one to use it after the issuing of the latter.
This was a case certified from the Circuit Court for the District of Virginia, in which the judges were divided in opinion upon the question, whether after the expiration of the original patent granted to Oliver Evans, a general right to use his discovery was not so vested in the public as to require and justify such a construction of the act passed in January, 1808, entitled "An act for the relief of Oliver Evans" as to exempt from either single or treble damages the use, subsequent to the passage of the said act, of the machinery therein mentioned, which was erected subsequent to the expiration of the original patent and previous to the passage of the said act. The act, vol. 9, 20, authorizes the Secretary of State to issue letters patent to Oliver Evans in the manner and form prescribed by the general patent law, granting to
him for the term of 14 years the exclusive right of making, using, and vending for use the machinery in question
"provided that no person who may have heretofore paid the said Oliver Evans for license to use his said improvements, shall be obliged to renew the said license or be subject to damages for not renewing the same, and provided also that no person who shall have used the said improvements or have erected the same for use before the issuing of the said patent shall be liable to damages therefor. "