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United States v. Dubilier Condenser Corp.
United States Supreme Court
289 U.S. 178 (1933)
Francis Dunmore and Percival Lowell (collectively, the inventors) (defendants) were employees of the federal government (plaintiff). During the inventors’ period of employment, they developed multiple inventions, which they then patented. The federal government sought a declaratory judgment that the patents were the property of the federal government because the inventions were developed while the inventors were employed by the federal government. The inventors contended that their employment contracts did not mention inventions or patents. The inventors also contended that the federal government could use the patented inventions but did not have the right to exclude others from using them. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Roberts, J.)
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