Morton Salt Co. v. G. S. Suppiger Co. - 314 U.S. 488 (1942)


U.S. Supreme Court

Morton Salt Co. v. G. S. Suppiger Co., 314 U.S. 488 (1942)

Morton Salt Co. v. G. S. Suppiger Co.

No. 49

Argued December 10, 1941

Decided January 5, 1942

314 U.S. 488

Syllabus

1. A corporation, engaged through a wholly owned subsidiary in the business of selling salt tablets to the canning trade, and which also

Page 314 U. S. 489

owned a patent on a machine for depositing such tablets in the process of canning, made a practice of licensing canners to use its machines, but only upon condition that the tablet used with them be bought from the subsidiary.

Held:

(1) That this use of the patent monopoly to restrain competition in the marketing of the unpatented tablets for use with the patented machines, and to aid in the creation of a limited monopoly in the tablets not within that granted by the patent, is contrary to the public policy of the United States evinced by the Constitution and the patent law. P. 314 U. S. 491.

(2) The patentee, while engaged in such practice, cannot have an injunction to retrain the making and leasing of infringing machine. P. 314 U. S. 492.

2. It is a principle of general application that courts, and especially courts of equity, may appropriately withhold their aid where the plaintiff is using the right asserted contrary to the public interest. P. 314 U. S. 492.

117 F.2d 968 reversed.

Certiorari, 313 U.S. 555, to review the reversal of a decree, 31 F.Supp. 876, dismissing a bill to enjoin alleged infringements of a patent, and for an accounting.



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