Topliff v. Topliff, 122 U.S. 121 (1887)
U.S. Supreme CourtTopliff v. Topliff, 122 U.S. 121 (1887)
Topliff v. Topliff
Argued May 3-4, 1887
Decided May 23, 1887
122 U.S. 121
When the language of a contract is ambiguous, the practical interpretation of it by the parties is entitled to great, if not controlling, influence.
In this case, the Court holds that a contract made by the parties in 1870 is still in force, and that under its terms, the appellee is entitled to make use of the combinations covered by the patent to John A. Topliff, one of the appellants, of August 24, 1875, without the payment of royalty and without being charged with liability as an infringer.
Bill in equity to restrain alleged infringements of letters patent. Decree dismissing the bill, from which complainants appealed. The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.