Boston Store v. American Graphophone Co. - 246 U.S. 8 (1918)
U.S. Supreme Court
Boston Store v. American Graphophone Co., 246 U.S. 8 (1918)
Boston Store v. American Graphophone Company
Argued January 16, 1918
Decided March 4, 1918
246 U.S. 8
Certificates of the facts constituting the basis for questions propounded to this Court by the circuit court of appeals should be prepared with care and precision.
Where the bill in the district court claimed protection for a price-fixing contract under the patent laws, and the want of merit in the claim was not so conclusively settled by decision when the bill was filed as to make the claim frivolous, the court had jurisdiction to pass upon the case as made by the bill -- that is, to determine whether the suit arose under those laws.
Where a patent owner delivers patented articles to a dealer by a transaction which, essentially considered, is a completed sale, stipulations in the contract that the articles may not be resold at prices other or lower than those fixed presently and from time to time by the patent owner are void under the general law, and are not within the monopoly conferred, or the remedies afforded, by the patent law.
Recent decisions of this Court denying the right of patent owners, in selling patented articles, to reserve control over the resale or use were not rested upon any mere question of the form of notice attached to the articles or the right to contract solely by reference to such notice, but upon the fundamental ground that the control of the patent owner over the articles in question ended with the passing of title.
The courts must needs apply the patent law as they find it; if this result in damage to the holders of patent rights, or if the law afford insufficient protection to the inventor, the remedy must come from Congress.
The case is stated in the opinion.