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U.S. Supreme Court

Morgan Envelope Co. v. Albany Paper Co., 152 U.S. 425 (1894)

Morgan Envelope Company v. Albany Perforated Wrapping Paper Company

No. 254

Argued March 8-9, 1894

Decided March 19, 1894

152 U.S. 425


An inventor who acquiesces in the rejection by the Patent Office of his claim in one form and accepts a patent with the claim changed so as to correspond with the views of that office, is estopped to claim the benefit of the rejected claim.

Letters patent No. 325,410, granted to Oliver H. Hicks September 1, 1885, for a package of toilet paper known as the oval roll or oval king package, is void for want of patentable invention.

Letters patent No. 325,174, issued to said Hicks August 25, 1885, for a toilet paper fixture, and letters patent No. 357,993, issued to said Hicks February 15, 1887, for an apparatus for holding toilet paper, are not infringed by selling such fixture or apparatus, bought of the patentee, with paper manufactured by the seller.

When a patentee has once received his royalty, he cannot treat the subsequent seller or user as an infringer.

This was a bill in equity to recover damages for the infringement of three letters patent issued to Oliver H. Hicks, of Chicago, and assigned to the appellant, viz.: Patent No. 325,410, chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 152 U. S. 426

issued September 1, 1885, for a "package of toilet paper," known as the "Oval Roll" or "Oval King" package; (2) patent No. 325, 174, issued August 25, 1885, for a "toilet paper fixture;" (3) patent No. 357,993, issued February 15, 1887, for an "apparatus for holding toilet paper." These are known as the "Oval King" fixtures.

The answer made the usual denials of novelty and infringement.

Upon a hearing upon pleadings and proofs, the court dismissed the bill except as to the fifth claim of patent No. 357,993, upon which a decree was ordered for plaintiff, without costs. From this decree, plaintiff appealed to this Court.

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