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HURN V. OURSLER, 289 U. S. 238 (1933)

U.S. Supreme Court

Hurn v. Oursler, 289 U.S. 238 (1933)

Hurn v. Oursler

No. 565

Argued February 17, 1933

Decided April 17, 1933

289 U.S. 238


1. A bill in the District Court made a claim of copyright infringement, raising a substantial federal question, and also sought relief upon the ground that the very same acts constituting the alleged infringement constituted unfair competition under the state law.


(1) That the federal question raised by the pleading gave jurisdiction of the case. P. 289 U. S. 240.

(2) When the federal claim was rejected on the merits, the court still had jurisdiction to decide the claim of unfair competition on the merits. Leschen Rope Co. v. Broderick, 201 U. S. 166, and Elgin Watch Co. v. Illinois Watch Co., 179 U. S. 665, criticized. Pp. 289 U. S. 240-244.

2. It is a general rule that, where the federal court has acquired jurisdiction by virtue of a substantial federal question raised in the bill or the complaint, it may decide not only that question, but also the local questions involved. P. 289 U. S. 243.

3. This rule does not go so far as to permit a federal court to assume jurisdiction of a separate and distinct nonfederal cause of action because it is joined in the same complaint with a federal cause of action. P. 289 U. S. 245.

4. From the jurisdictional standpoint, the claims of copyright infringement and of unfair competition pleaded in this case are not separate causes of action, but are different grounds asserted in support of the same cause of action. P. 289 U. S. 246.

61 F.2d 1031 modified and affirmed.

Certiorari, 288 U.S. 595, to review the affirmance of a decree dismissing a bill on the merits insofar as grounded on copyright infringement, and for want of jurisdiction insofar as grounded on unfair competition.

Page 289 U. S. 239

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