Wright-Blodgett Co. v. United States,
Annotate this Case
236 U.S. 397 (1915)
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U.S. Supreme Court
Wright-Blodgett Co. v. United States, 236 U.S. 397 (1915)
Wright-Blodgett Co. v. United States
Nos. 151, 152, 154-156
Argued January 26 and 27, 1915
Decided February 23, 1915
236 U.S. 397
Although several cases cancelling patents for fraud have been decided by the district court without opinion, if the same decree was entered in all the cases and all were alike in their main features, although varying in details, and the circuit court of appeals affirmed all the decrees with an opinion stating that fraud in the entry was proved and that the grantee was charged with knowledge, the two courts must be deemed to have concurred in their findings, and the rule that, under such conditions, their determinations upon questions of fact, in absence of clear error will not be disturbed, applies.
While a patent obtained by fraud is not void or subject to collateral attack, it may be directly assailed by the government in a suit against the patentee or grantee, and such a suit can only be sustained by proof producing conviction.
Despite satisfactory proof of fraud in obtaining the patent, if the legal title has passed, bona fide purchase for value is a perfect defense; but it is an affirmative one which the grantee must establish in order to defeat the government's right to cancel a patent which fraud alone is shown to have induced. Boone v. Chiles, 10 Pet. 177.
203 F. 263 affirmed.
The facts, which involve the validity of certain land patents issued under the homestead laws of the United States, are stated in the opinion.