United States Supreme Court
379 U.S. 29 (1964)
Thys Company. (Thys) (plaintiff) owned a number of patents for a hop-picking machine. Thys sold the machine to Brulotte (defendant) and granted a license for Brulotte’s use of the machine. The license terms required Brulotte to pay a royalty equal to the greater of either $500 per season or $3.33 per 200 pounds of hops harvested. The license covered 12 patents related to the hop-picking machines, though only seven of the patents were actually embodied in the machine sold to Brulotte. All seven patents expired prior to 1957, but the license terms continued well after that date. Brulotte withheld royalty payments due both before and after the expiration date of the seven machine patents. Thys sued Brulotte to enforce the licensing agreement and collect the royalty payments. Brulotte contended that the license agreement was unenforceable under the doctrine of patent misuse, because Thys was unlawfully extending the patent grant by requiring royalty payments after expiration of the patents. The trial court ruled in Thys’s favor. The Supreme Court of Washington affirmed, concluding that the extended period during which Thys was collecting royalty payments constituted a reasonable time over which to allocate the payments for use of the machine. The United States Supreme Court granted certiori.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Douglas, J.)
Dissent (Harlan, J.)
What to do next…
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 97,000 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.
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 217,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 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.