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Motion Picture Patents Company v. Universal Film Manufacturing Company et al.

United States Supreme Court
243 U.S. 502 (1917)


Facts

Woodville Latham obtained a patent for the mechanism of movie projection machines through which film is fed. Latham assigned the patent to the plaintiff. The plaintiff granted a license for use of the patent to The Precision Machine Company (Precision). The license contained a restriction that stated that Precision could only sell machines with the patented mechanism if the buyer covenanted to use the machine only for projecting movies that contained another of the plaintiff’s patents. Motion Picture Patents Company  (plaintiff) brought suit for patent infringement against three companies Universal Film Manufacturing Company et al. (defendants). The defendants argued that the patent was invalid. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Clarke, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Dissent (Holmes, J.)

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