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ALLEN V. RILEY, 203 U. S. 347 (1906)

U.S. Supreme Court

Allen v. Riley, 203 U.S. 347 (1906)

Allen v. Riley

No. 99

Submitted November 6, 1906

Decided December 3, 1906

203 U.S. 347


While a state may not pass any law prohibiting the sale of patents for inventions or nullifying the laws of Congress regulating their transfer, it has the power, until Congress legislates on the subject, to make such reasonable regulations in regard to the transfer of patent rights as will protect its citizens from fraud, and a requirement in the laws of Kansas that, before sale or barter of patent rights, an authenticated copy of the letters patent and the authority of the vendor to sell the right patented hall be filed in the office of the clerk of the county within which the rights are sold is not an unreasonable regulation.

71 Kan. 378 affirmed.

Frances J. Riley, the defendant in error, who was plaintiff below, recovered a judgment against plaintiffs in error, defendants below, for $1,250, in the District Court of Brown County, in the State of Kansas, which judgment was affirmed by the supreme court of the state, and the defendants below have brought the case here by writ of error.

The suit was commenced by the filing of a petition by defendant in error, plaintiff below, in a District Court of Kansas, March 17, 1902, to recover the value of certain lands alleged to have been transferred by the plaintiff to the defendant Erasmus W. Allen, in part payment for the transfer to plaintiff of rights for the State of Kentucky under a patent dated January 30, 1901, for a washing machine. The right to recover is based upon the failure of the defendants to comply with the Kansas statute, which failure defendants do not

Page 203 U. S. 348

deny, but they insist that the statute is void as being in violation of the Constitution of the United States and the act of Congress referred to in the opinion. The Kansas statute is chapter 182 of the Laws of 1889. A copy of the act is set out in the margin. *

Page 203 U. S. 351

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