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SOLOMONS V. UNITED STATES, 137 U. S. 342 (1890)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Solomons v. United States, 137 U.S. 342 (1890)

Solomons v. United States

No. 64

Argued November 10-11, 1890

Decided December S, 1890

137 U.S. 342



When a person in the employ of the United States makes an invention of value and takes out letters patent for it, the government, if it makes use of the invention without the consent of the patentee, becomes thereby liable to pay the patentee therefor.

If a person in the employ and pay of another or of the United States is directed to devise or perfect an instrument or means for accomplishing a prescribed result, and he obeys and succeeds and takes out letters patent for his invention or discovery, he cannot, after successfully accomplishing the work for which he was employed, plead title thereto as against his employer.

When a person in the employ of another in a certain line of work devises an improved method or instrument for doing that work, and uses the property of his employer and the services of other employs to develop and put in practicable form his invention, and explicitly assents to the use by his employer of such invention, a jury, or a court trying the facts, is warranted in finding that he has so far recognized the obligations of service flowing from his employment and the benefits resulting from his use of the property and the assistance of the co-employees of his employer as to have given to such employer an irrevocable license to use such invention.

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