Appeal from an order of a District Court of three judges,
convened pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 380(a), denying an injunction and
striking portions of the bill of complaint. The United States had
been allowed to intervene.
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE STONE delivered the opinion of the Court.
This is a companion case to Coffman v. Breeze Corporations,
p. 323 U. S. 316
Page 323 U. S. 326
Like that case, the present suit was brought by appellant
against Federal Laboratories, Inc., and Breeze Corporations, Inc.
to secure, among other things, an adjudication of the
constitutional validity of the Royalty Adjustment Act of Congress
of October 31, 1942, 56 Stat. 1013, 35 U.S.C.Supp. III, §§ 89-96.
It sought also to enjoin defendants from paying over to the
Treasury of the United States royalties alleged to be due upon the
license agreements involved in the Breeze suit, as required by the
notices and orders of the War and Navy Departments served upon
appellant and the defendants pursuant to the Act.
In addition, the bill of complaint alleges that defendants owe
royalties to appellant under the license agreements, for which it
prays an accounting. By way of anticipation of the defense that the
Royalty Adjustment Act and the notices and orders of the War and
Navy Departments require appellee to pay the royalties into the
Treasury, appellant sets up the unconstitutionality of the Act.
A district court of three judges was convened to hear the cause,
as required by the Act of August 24, 1937, 50 Stat. 752, 28 U.S.C.
§ 380a, and the United States was allowed to intervene as a party
in accordance with § 1 of the Act. 50 Stat. 751, 28 U.S.C. § 401.
The District Court, on motion of the Government, dismissed so much
of the bill of complaint as sought an adjudication of the
constitutional validity of the Royalty Adjustment Act and of the
notice and orders issued under it. It struck from the bill of
complaint the anticipatory allegations that the Royalty Adjustment
Act and the orders with respect to the royalties owing appellant
are unconstitutional and void, and it struck the prayer of the bill
for an injunction.
For the reasons stated in our opinion in the Breeze
case, we hold that appellant has shown no ground for equitable
relief by way of injunction. The allegations of unconstitutionality
of the Royalty Adjustment Act and the orders were pleaded only as
supporting the prayer for an
Page 323 U. S. 327
injunction, and were therefore properly stricken with that
prayer. The allegations are not essential to or a proper part of
the cause of action for an accounting and recovery of the royalties
alleged to be due.
Since the allegations were stricken, appellee Federal has
answered setting up as a separate defense the royalty adjustment
orders prohibiting payment of the royalties to appellant. Upon that
issue, appellant will be free to contest the constitutional
validity of the orders. The judgment below is accordingly