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The Case of Monopolies
Court of King’s Bench
77 Eng. Rep. 1260 (1602)
Queen Elizabeth granted Ralph Bowes (plaintiff) the exclusive right to import and sell playing cards in England. To accomplish this, the queen issued Bowes a patent. In exchange, Bowes agreed to pay a yearly fee to the queen. A businessman named T. Allein (defendant) began selling playing cards at lower prices than those offered by Bowes. When the dispute was brought before the court, Bowes argued Allein violated Bowes’s lawful monopoly on playing cards. As a result, Bowes suffered damages in the form of lost sales and could not pay the queen’s yearly fee.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Popham, C.J.)
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