Hart Steel Co. v. Railroad Supply Co.,
244 U.S. 294 (1917)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Hart Steel Co. v. Railroad Supply Co., 244 U.S. 294 (1917)

Hart Steel Co. v. Railroad Supply Company

No. 67

Argued April 17, 18, 1917

Decided May 21, 1917

244 U.S. 294


A patent owner sued for infringement in two circuits, the defendants being, in one case, a corporation which manufactured the articles complained of, and, in the other, a second corporation whose shares were owned, and whose conduct was controlled, by the first, and which, with its manager (joined with it as codefendant), was acting as the selling agent of the first corporation under its authority and in its interest. The subject matter and relief prayed were the same in both suits. Held that there was such privity between the defendants that a judgment against the plaintiff rendered by the circuit court of appeals in the suit against the manufacturer was res judicata as to the other suit, then pending before the circuit court of appeals for the other circuit.

A decree against the plaintiff in a patent infringement suit was affirmed by the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit while its appeal

Page 244 U. S. 295

from a like decree in another suit involving the same controversy was pending unheard before the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Held that a motion for an affirmance, seasonably made to the latter court and supported by certified copies of the record and journal entries in the other case establishing legal identity of the subject matter and privity of the parties was a proper means of interposing the defense of res judicata, and that the motion should have been granted.

222 F. 261 reversed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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