Leeds & Catlin Co. v. Victor Talking Machine Co.
Annotate this Case
213 U.S. 325 (1909)
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U.S. Supreme Court
Leeds & Catlin Co. v. Victor Talking Machine Co. , 213 U.S. 325 (1909)
Leeds & Catlin Company v. Victor
Talking Machine Company (No. 2)
Argued January 18, 1909
Decided April 19, 1909
213 U.S. 325
Leeds & Catlin Co. v. Victor Talking Machine Co., ante, p. 213 U. S. 301, followed as to validity of Berliner patent for talking machines.
There is a distinction between the article which a combination machine deals with and the constituent elements composing the combination, and while it may not be infringement to supply the unpatented article dealt with by the combination, it is infringement to make and supply an unpatented element, necessary for the operation of the combination. Morgan Envelope Co. v. Albany Paper Co., 152 U. S. 425, distinguished.
The combination itself, regardless of whether any or all of the elements be old or new, is the invention, and, in law, is as much a unit as a single or noncomposite instrument, and one using or contributing to its use without permission infringes it.
Whether the elements of a combination patent are or are not patented is immaterial.
Where an element of a combination becomes unfit by deterioration, there is a destruction of the combination, and a renewal of that element amounts to reconstruction
The right of substitution or resupply of elements of a combination extends only to repair and replacement made necessary by deterioration so as to preserve its fitness; license goes no further, and does not extend to furnishing such elements to increase effectiveness or variety of the results of the combination.
Unpatented elements of a patented combination may not be sold for use therewith, although they may legally be sold for use with other machines, and so held that it was infringement to sell record discs specially adapted therefor to the users of a patented talking machine although such discs were not patented and could lawfully be used in combination with other talking machines.
150 F. 147, 154 F. 58, affirmed.
The facts are stated in the opinion.