Moffitt v. Garr - 66 U.S. 273 (1861)
U.S. Supreme Court
Moffitt v. Garr, 66 U.S. 1 Black 273 273 (1861)
Moffitt v. Garr
66 U.S. (1 Black) 273
1. The surrender of a patent under the 13th section of the Act of July 4, 1836, in judgment of law, extinguishes it -- is a legal cancellation of it, and no right can afterwards be asserted upon it.
2. Suits pending for an infringement of such a patent fall with its surrender, because the foundation upon which they were commenced no longer exists.
3. But moneys recovered or paid under a patent previous to its surrender cannot be recovered back afterwards.
The plaintiff in error, who was also plaintiff below, filed a declaration in case against defendants in error for the infringement of letters patent of the United States, granted to him November 30, 1852, for an improvement in grain separators. This declaration was filed March 22, 1859. On the 25th of October following, one of the defendants filed the following plea:
"And now comes the said John M. Garr and says that the said John R. Moffitt ought not further to maintain this action against him because, he says, that since the commencement thereof and before the 17th day of May, 1859,
to-wit, on the ___ day of _____, the said John R. Moffitt surrendered to the United States the patent before that time issued to him, and for the alleged infringement of which this suit is brought, and this he is ready to verify. Wherefore,"
etc. To this plea the plaintiff demurred, and the court overruled the demurrer. Judgment for defendant. The plaintiff took this writ of error.