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U.S. Supreme Court

Hazel-Atlas Glass Co. v Hartford-Empire Co., 322 U.S. 238 (1944)

Hazel-Atlas Glass Co. v Hartford-Empire Co.

No. 398

Argued February 9, 10, 1944

Decided May 15, 1944

322 U.S. 238


Upon appeal from a judgment of the District Court denying relief in a suit by Hartford against Hazel for infringement of a patent, the Circuit Court of Appeals in 1932 held Hartford's patent valid and infringed, and, upon its mandate, the District Court entered judgment accordingly. In 1941, Hazel commenced in the Circuit Court of Appeals this proceeding, wherein it conclusively appeared that Hartford, through publication of an article purporting to have been written by a disinterested person, had perpetrated a fraud on the Patent Office in obtaining the patent and on the Circuit Court of Appeals itself in the infringement suit. Upon review here of an order of the Circuit Court of Appeals denying relief, held:

1. Upon the record, the Circuit Court of Appeals had the power and the duty to vacate its 1932 judgment and to give the District Court appropriate directions. P. 322 U. S. 247.

(a) Even if Hazel failed to exercise due diligence to uncover the fraud, relief may not be denied on that ground alone, since public interests are involved. P. 322 U. S. 246.

(b) In the circumstances, Hartford may not be heard to dispute the effectiveness, nor to assert the truth, of the article. P. 322 U. S. 247.

2. The Circuit Court of Appeals is directed to set aside its 1932 judgment, recall its 1932 mandate, dismiss Hartford's appeal, and to issue a mandate to the District Court directing it to set aside its judgment entered pursuant to the 1932 mandate, to reinstate its original judgment denying relief to Hartford, and to take such additional action as may be necessary and appropriate. P. 322 U. S. 250.

137 F.2d 764, reversed. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 322 U. S. 239

CERTIORARI, 320 U.S. 732, to review an order of the Circuit Court of Appeals denying relief in a bill of review proceeding commenced in that court.

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