Philip v. Nock
80 U.S. 185

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U.S. Supreme Court

Philip v. Nock, 80 U.S. 13 Wall. 185 185 (1871)

Philip v. Nock

80 U.S. (13 Wall.) 185

Syllabus

The right given by the Acts of February 18, 1861, and July 20, 1870, of appeal or writ of error without regard to the sum in controversy in questions arising under laws of the United States, granting or conferring to authors or inventors the exclusive right to their inventions or discoveries, applies to controversies between a patentee or author and alleged infringer as well as to those between rival patentees.

The Judiciary Act of 1789, as is known, gives jurisdiction to this Court in ordinary cases only "where the matter in dispute exceeds the sum or value of $2,000."

The Patent Act of February 18, 1861, [Footnote 1] provides that

"From all judgments and decrees of any circuit court, rendered

Page 80 U. S. 186

in any action, suit, controversy, or case at law or in equity, arising under any law of the United States granting or confirming to authors the exclusive right to their respective writings, or to inventors the exclusive right to their inventions or discoveries, a writ of error or appeal, as the case may require, shall lie at the instance of either party to the Supreme Court of the United States in the same manner and under the same circumstances as is now provided by law in other judgments and decrees of such circuit courts, without regard to the sum or value in controversy in the action."

In this state of the statutory law, one Nock, inventor of locks, sued Philip & Solomon as infringers. He laid his damages at $5,000 and got judgment for $500. To this Philip & Solomon took a writ of error.

After this -- that is to say, July 20, 1870, Congress passed another act, [Footnote 2] thus:

"A writ of error or appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States shall lie from all judgments and decrees of any circuit court, or of any district court exercising the jurisdiction of a circuit court, or of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia or of any territory, in any action, suit, controversy, or case, at law or in equity, touching patent rights, in the same manner and under the same circumstances as in other judgments and decrees of such circuit courts, without regard to the sum or value in controversy. "

Page 80 U. S. 187

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