Bloomer v. McQuewan
55 U.S. 539 (1852)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Bloomer v. McQuewan, 55 U.S. 14 How. 539 539 (1852)

Bloomer v. McQuewan

55 U.S. (14 How.) 539

Syllabus

The patent for Woodworth's planing machine was extended from 1842 to 1843, by the Board of commissioners.

Under that extension, this Court decided, in Wilson v. Rousseau, 4 How. 688, that an assignee had a right to continue the use of the machine which he then had.

In 1845, Congress, by a special act, extended the time still further from 1849 to 1856. Under that extension, an assignee has still the same right.

By the cases of Evans v. Eaton, 3 Wheat. 548, and Wilson v. Rousseau, 4 How. 688, these two propositions are settled, viz.:

1. That a special act of Congress in favor of a patentee extending the time beyond that originally limited must be considered as engrafted on the general law.

2. That under the general law in force when this special act of Congress was passed, a party who had purchased the right to use a planing machine during the period to which the patent was first limited was entitled to continue to use it during the extension authorized by that law unless there is something in the law itself to forbid it.

But there is nothing in the act of Congress passed in 1845 forbidding such use, and therefore the assignee has the right.

MR. JUSTICE CURTIS, having been of counsel, did not sit on the trial of this cause, and MR. JUSTICE WAYNE was absent.

This appeal was a bill filed by Bloomer, who claimed under Wilson,, the assignee of Woodworth's planing machine. The whole of

Page 55 U. S. 540

Wilson's title is set forth in the report of the case of Wilson v. Rousseau, 4 How. 646, as is also the Act of Congress passed on 26 February, 1845, 4 How. 45 U. S. 662, extending the patent for seven years from 27 December, 1849.

McQuewan claimed, through two mesne assignments from Woodworth and Strong, by virtue of a license granted on 8 November, 1833.

The bill and answer covered a great deal of ground which needs not be noticed in this report.

Amongst other averments was this -- that the license conveyed no right to use the machine during the extension for seven years from 1849 under the act of Congress passed in 1845, and the decision of the court being in favor of the defendants below upon this point, it is unnecessary to state all the points and arguments upon other matters.

The court below were divided in opinion, and the bill was of course dismissed. Bloomer appealed to this Court.

Page 55 U. S. 547

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