United States Supreme Court
94 U.S. (4 Otto) 606 (1876)
Nathan Russell (plaintiff) originally filed for a patent on two preparations of leather. One process involved treatment of the leather with “fat liquor” and another involved a process of treating bark tanned lamb or sheepskin with a certain compound. The initial patent was defective, because it did not adequately describe the invention. Russell corrected the description, and the patent was reissued. Russell sued Isaac Place et al. (Place) (defendants), alleging that Place was manufacturing, using, and selling the invention without a license. Russell asked for damages and an injunction. Place admitted using the process, but argued that (1) the process had been used by the public for over two years before Russell applied for a patent and (2) the reissued patent was not for the same invention. Judgment was entered for Russell. Russell brought another suit for patent infringement, and Place again sought to defend on the grounds that the patent was invalid for lack of novelty and there was a difference between the invention and the reissued patent. Russell argued that his favorable judgment in the previous suit estopped Place from raising the defenses previously asserted or any invalidity defense that could have been asserted. The record in that proceeding did not indicate which of the two preparations in the plaintiff’s patent that Place had infringed. The lower court ruled in favor of Place. Russell appealed to the United States Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Field, J.)
Dissent (Clifford, 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 201,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 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.