Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,800+ case briefs...

American Well Works Co. v. Layne & Bowler Co.

United States Supreme Court
241 U.S. 257, 36 S.Ct. 585, 60 L.Ed. 987 (1916)



American Well Works Company (American) (plaintiff) had a patent for a specific pump that it owned, manufactured and sold, which was known as the best in the market. American sued its competitor, Layne & Bowler Company (Layne) (defendant), in Arkansas state court, alleging Layne falsely and maliciously slandered American’s patent rights to the pump and falsely claimed the pump and its parts were infringements of Layne’s patented pumps. American further alleged that Layne filed frivolous lawsuits against some of American’s customers who were using the pump and threatened lawsuits against others. Layne removed the case to federal district court on the grounds that it was based in federal patent law. The district court held that the cause of action arose under federal patent law, and dismissed it because the state court where the case originated lacked jurisdiction, and, accordingly, so did the federal court to which the case was removed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari on the question of federal jurisdiction.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Holmes, J.)

Dissent (McKenna, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 498,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 498,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,800 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial