From our private database of 33,600+ case briefs...
O'Reilly v. Morse
United States Supreme Court
56 U.S. (15 How.) 62 (1853)
Samuel Morse (plaintiff) was issued a patent for his telegraph in 1840 and again in 1848. Morse’s two patent applications claimed that Morse had ownership rights to the telegraph machinery that he had described in his application’s specifications. However, in the eighth claim in Morse’s patent application, Morse also claimed ownership rights to any future invention that used electro-magnetism to print characters or letters at a distance. In 1845, Henry O’Reilly (defendant) installed a telegraph system in Kentucky and Tennessee. Morse sued O’Reilly for patent infringement in the United States Circuit Court for the District of Kentucky. The circuit court upheld the validity of Morse’s patent and found that O’Reilly had committed patent infringement. O’Reilly appealed to the United States Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Taney, C.J.)
Dissent (Grier, 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 603,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead 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.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 603,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 33,600 briefs, keyed to 984 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.