Foley v. United States
260 U.S. 667 (1923)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Foley v. United States, 260 U.S. 667 (1923)

Foley v. United States

No. 203

Argued January 12, 1923

Decided January 29, 1923

260 U.S. 667

Syllabus

1. G wrote to the Navy Department, with respect to his invention for drying materials, that, in consideration of the Department's building a testing apparatus at its own expense, he gave it the option of using the method, if it found it to its advantage, by paying so much for each pound of material so dried. The Department accepted the proposition, saying that it had ordered an experimental apparatus on G's plan, which would be tested and, if it worked satisfactorily to the Bureau of Ordnance, would pay him as proposed. After the test, the Bureau notified G that the test proved unsatisfactory and was abandoned.

Held:

(a) Not a contract that the Department would use the method, but an option, or at most a conditional obligation subject to be terminated by the Department when the test proved unsatisfactory P. 260 U. S. 675.

(b) By remaining silent and inactive for five years after receiving notice from the bureau that the relations between them were terminated, G acquiesced. P. 260 U. S. 675.

2. Patents 763,387 and 763,388, issued to Gathmann, for a method of drying materials with the aid of a "vaporous atmosphere" were either anticipated or not infringed by the "closed-circuit method" used by the government in this case for drying smokeless powder. P. 260 U. S. 676.

56 Ct.Clms. 303 affirmed.

Page 260 U. S. 668

Appeal from a judgment of the Court of Claims.

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