BEEDLE V. BENNETT, 122 U. S. 71 (1887)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Beedle v. Bennett, 122 U.S. 71 (1887)

Beedle v. Bennett

Submitted January 7, 1887

Decided allay 23, 1887

122 U.S. 71


If a bill in equity to restrain an infringement of letters patent be filed before the expiration of the patent, the jurisdiction of the circuit court is not defeated by the expiration of the patent by lapse of time before the final decree.

The case of Eames v. Andrews, just decided, is applied to the issues in this case, so fur as they are identical with those in that case.

The use of this invention by the inventor in the manner stated in the opinion of the court, and his delay in applying for a patent under the circumstances therein detailed for more than two years prior to his application, did not constitute an abandonment of his invention or a dedication of it to the public, and did not forfeit his right to a patent under the law, as it stood at the time of his application.

The use by the respondents of driven wells for their personal use on their farms, which wells were operated by means of the process patented to Green, constituted an infringement of that patent.

Bill in equity to restrain infringements of letters patent. The patent expired by its own limitation after the filing of the bill, and before final decree. The final decree and allowance of appeal were as follows:

"This cause coming on to be heard upon the pleadings in agreed statement of facts and arguments of counsel, the court finds the reissued letters patent sued on valid, and to have been infringed by defendant, and that the complainants have an established license fee of $10 per well driven by the process described and claimed in the patent, for which said sum, and interest from the 15th day of May, 1883, the date of filing the bill herein, the complainants are entitled to a decree which, to the first day of this term, amounts to $12.03."

"The patent having expired, it is ordered, adjudged, and decreed that the court [complainants] do recover the sum of $12.03 per well driven in accordance with said patent, with interest from the 5th day of October, 1886, and his costs, to be taxed. "

Page 122 U. S. 72

"An appeal being prayed by defendants, it is allowed, and bond fixed at $250, and it is ordered that the other causes pending in this court on said patent be stayed until such appeal has been decided by the Supreme Court, and no entry or decree be made in them pending said appeal."


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