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Francklyn v. Guilford Packing Co.

695 F.2d 1158 (1983)

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Francklyn v. Guilford Packing Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

695 F.2d 1158 (1983)

Facts

Guilford Packing Company (Guilford) (defendant) hired Gilbert Francklyn (plaintiff) to harvest clam beds that Guilford leased, using a boat that Guilford owned called the Little Jerk. The parties’ arrangement contemplated that Francklyn would make modifications to the Little Jerk’s harvester to improve its performance and that Guilford would reimburse Francklyn for expenses incurred in making the modifications, although Francklyn later chose not to request reimbursement for some of his expenses. Francklyn perfected a modified version of the harvester for which he obtained a patent in 1969. Francklyn told Guilford that it could use the patented harvester on the Little Jerk or any other clam boat Guilford might have without paying royalties. Guilford later retired the Little Jerk and manufactured a second harvester based on Francklyn’s invention and used it on a different boat called the Sidewinder. In addition, the partnership of Lowman and Carr (Lowman) built and used a harvester that infringed Francklyn’s patent. Guilford bought Lowman’s harvester and leased it back to Lowman. Francklyn filed suit in 1975, claiming that his patent was infringed both by Guilford’s manufacture and use of the harvester on the Sidewinder and by the leaseback of the Lowman harvester. The district court found that Guilford had a shop right in Francklyn’s invention and that the leaseback arrangement between Lowman and Guilford did not violate Francklyn’s patent. Francklyn appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Alarcon, J.)

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