Motion Picture Patents Co. v. Universal Film Co.
Annotate this Case
243 U.S. 502 (1917)
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U.S. Supreme Court
Motion Picture Patents Co. v. Universal Film Co., 243 U.S. 502 (1917)
Motion Picture Patents Company v.
Universal Film Manufacturing Company
Argued January 12, 15, 1917
Decided April 9, 1917
243 U.S. 502
Under the patent law, the grant by patent of the exclusive right to use, like the grant of the exclusive right to vend, is limited to the invention described in the claims of the patent, and that law does not empower the patent owner, by notices attached to the things patented, to extend the scope of the patent monopoly by restricting their use to materials necessary for their operation but forming no part of the patented invention, or to send such articles forth into the channels of trade subject to conditions as to use or royalty, to be imposed thereafter, in the vendor's discretion. The Button-Fastener Case, 77 F. 288, and Henry v. Dick Company, 224 U. S. 1, overruled.
In determining how far the owner of a patent may restrict the use after sale of machines embodying the invention, weight must be given to the rules long established that the scope of every patent is limited to the invention as described in the claims, read in the light of the specification, that the patentee receives nothing from the patent law beyond the right to restrain others from manufacturing, using, or selling his invention, and that the primary purpose of that law is not to create private fortunes, but is to promote the progress of science and the useful arts.
The extent to which the use of a patented machine may validly be restricted to specific supplies or otherwise by special contract between the owner of the patent and a purchaser or licensee is a question outside of the patent law, and not involved in this case.
235 F. 398 affirmed.
The case is stated in the opinion.