United States v. Societe Anonyme - 224 U.S. 309 (1912)


U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Societe Anonyme, 224 U.S. 309 (1912)

United States v. Societe Anonyme

des Anciens Etablissements Cail

No. 209, 210

Argued March 12, 13, 1912

Decided April 8, 1912

224 U.S. 309

Syllabus

In order to find that there was an implied contract for use of a patent, there must be use with patentee's agent and agreement to pay something therefor, United States v. Berdan Fire Arms Company, 156 U. S. 552, and these element may be collected from conduct of the parties, even if there are no explicit declarations.

Where the facts show that the patentee consented that the government use his invention, and the proper officer of the department in which it was used have stated that there is a claim for royalties if the patent is a valid one, the claim is founded on contract, and the Court of Claim has jurisdiction.

The intention to plainly do a wrongful act by deliberately taking the property of another without compensation will not be imputed to officers of the United States without the most convincing proof.

The excellence of an ordnance invention is testified to by it use by the government in guns for the national defense.

In this case, held that the De Bange gas check for large gun is a device of excellence, that the patents therefor are valid, and the gas checking device used by the government is an infringement thereof.

The law secures the patentee against infringement by a use in other forms and proportions than those specifically described in the claim.

Page 224 U. S. 310

This Court will not direct the Court of Claims to certify evidence, and not its conclusions from the evidence. The rule is that the finding must be of the facts established by the evidence.

This Court, in appeals from the Court of Claims, can only act upon the record, and a finding of that court that a definite amount of compensation is due from the government for use of a patent, to which no objection is taken or exception reserved, is as finally determinative of the matter as a special verdict of a jury. The evidence cannot be certified up so as to make such finding reviewable by this Court. United States v. New York Indians, 173 U. S. 464, followed, and Ceballos & Co. v. United States, 214 U. S. 47, distinguished.

44 Ct.Cl. 610 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the jurisdiction of the Court of Claims of claims of patentee of the De Bange gas check for use of that invention by the government, whether there was such use, and what the proper compensation should be therefor, are stated in the opinion.



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