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E. W. BLISS CO. V. UNITED STATES, 248 U. S. 37 (1918)

U.S. Supreme Court

E. W. Bliss Co. v. United States, 248 U.S. 37 (1918)

E. W. Bliss Co. v. United States

No. 15

Argued November 20, 21, 1918

Decided December 9, 1918

248 U.S. 37


In a contract for supplying torpedoes, the manufacturer agreed with the government not to make use of any device the design for which was furnished to it by the United States, in torpedoes constructed for other persons or governments, and not to disclose such devices, but no device or design was to come within the prohibition unless so designated in writing by the government at the time when it was conveyed to the manufacturer.


(1) That the obligation to secrecy was not confined to devices which were secret, or to inventions by the United States, but extended to such as were furnished -- communicated with certainty -- and designated for secrecy by the United States, even where the design was subsequently worked out by employees of the manufacturer. Pp. 248 U. S. 43-48.

(2) That injunction against disclosure should be confined to devices in use, but without prejudice to the right of the government to enjoin disclosure of others upon proof of intention to make use of them. P. 248 U. S. 48.

Davison patent relating to propulsion of torpedoes construed. P. 248 U. S. 44.

224 F. 325, 229 F. 373, modified and affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

Page 248 U. S. 39

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