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Alexander Milburn Co. v. Davis-Bournonville Co.

United States Supreme Court
270 U.S. 390 (1926)


Davis-Bournonville Co. (plaintiff) sued Alexander Milburn Co. (defendant) for patent infringement. Whitford invented the improvement claimed in the patent at issue, the application having been filed in March 1911 and issued as a patent in June 1912. As a defense, Alexander Milburn alleged that another inventor, Clifford, had previously invented the improvement claimed in the Whitford patent. Clifford filed a patent application in January 1911, which issued in February 1912, and disclosed, but did not claim, a particular invention. That invention, however, was claimed in the later-filed Whitford patent. The district court and court of appeals both decreed that because Clifford did not claim the invention that was later claimed in the Whitford patent, Clifford was not a prior inventor.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Holmes, J.)

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