From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...
L. Batlin & Sons, Inc. v. Snyder
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
536 F.2d 486 (1976)
Uncle Sam mechanical banks were originally patented in 1886, but the patent ran out. The mechanical banks were made of metal and portrayed a man wearing a stovepipe hat, star-spangled vest, and red-and-white trousers, standing with a carpetbag next to his feet. A coin was placed in the man’s hand and then dropped into the carpetbag when a lever was pressed. There were certain recognizable symbols on the figure, such as an eagle on the base holding an arrow in its talons. The Uncle Sam mechanical banks were widely produced and available after the patent’s expiration. Jeffrey Snyder (defendant) contracted with a company in Hong Kong to create a smaller version of the bank made of plastic and with some of the symbols changed. For instance, Snyder’s plastic figure had an eagle holding leaves instead of an arrow, because the arrow shape did not appear correctly when made of plastic and at a smaller size. Snyder obtained a copyright registration for his version of the Uncle Sam mechanical bank. L. Batlin & Sons, Inc. (Batlin) (plaintiff) attempted to import Uncle Sam mechanical banks, but its shipment was refused entry into the United States by the U.S. Customs Service due to Snyder’s copyright registration. Batlin filed suit, seeking a declaration that Snyder’s copyright was invalid. The district court granted Batlin a preliminary injunction. Snyder appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Oakes, J.)
Dissent (Meskill, 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 221,000 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.