The Fair v. Kohler Die & Specialty Co.
228 U.S. 22 (1913)

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U.S. Supreme Court

The Fair v. Kohler Die & Specialty Co., 228 U.S. 22 (1913)

The Fair v. Kohler Die & Specialty Company

No. 169

Argued March 6, 1913

Decided March 24, 1913

228 U.S. 22


Where plaintiff relies upon infringement of his patent and nothing else, the cause, whether good or bad, is one under the laws of he United States, and the Circuit Court has jurisdiction, and jurisdiction cannot be defeated by matter set up in the answer.

Page 228 U. S. 23

The party bringing the suit is master to decide what law he will rely upon.

Jurisdiction is authority to decide either way, and, if it exits as an incident to a federal statutory cause of action, it cannot be defeated by a plea denying the merits.

Defendant, specially pleading to plaintiff's bill for infringement of patent by selling below a stipulated price, denied there was any infringement of the patent and set up that the cause was not one arising under the patent laws of the United States, and the federal court had no jurisdiction. The court overruled the plea and, defendant not having answered further, made a decree for plaintiff. In this Court, held that the appeal was on the question of jurisdiction alone, and as jurisdiction existed below and rested solely on the patent law, there being no diverse citizenship, the decree must be affirmed.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

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