United States v. New Wrinkle, Inc.,
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342 U.S. 371 (1952)
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U.S. Supreme Court
United States v. New Wrinkle, Inc., 342 U.S. 371 (1952)
United States v. New Wrinkle, Inc.
Argued January 10-11, 1952
Decided February 4, 1952
342 U.S. 371
A complaint in a civil suit by the United States under § 4 of the Sherman Act charging that the two defendants successfully conspired to fix uniform minimum prices and to eliminate competition throughout substantially all of the wrinkle finish industry of the United States by means of patent license agreements held to have charged a violation of § 1 of the Sherman Act by both defendants. Pp. 342 U. S. 372-380.
1. That one of the defendants, a patent-holding company, abstained from manufacturing activities and concentrated on patent licensing did not insulate its activity from the prohibitions of § 1 of the Sherman Act. Pp. 342 U. S. 376-378.
2. The making of these license contracts for the purpose of regulating distribution and fixing prices of commodities in interstate commerce is subject to the Sherman Act, even though the isolated act of contracting for the licenses is wholly within a single state. P. 342 U. S. 377.
3. Patents give no protection from the prohibitions of the Sherman Act when licensing agreements are used as a means of restraining interstate commerce and fixing prices throughout substantially all of an entire industry involving many different manufacturers. United States v. Line Material Co., 333 U. S. 287; United States v. United States Gypsum Co., 333 U. S. 364. Pp. 342 U. S. 378-380.
The District Court dismissed a complaint by the United States under § 4 of the Sherman Act to restrain violations of § 1 by appellees. On direct appeal to this Court under 15 U.S.C. § 29, reversed, p. 342 U. S. 380.