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SCOTT PAPER CO. V. MARCALUS MFG. CO., INC., 326 U. S. 249 (1945)

U.S. Supreme Court

Scott Paper Co. v. Marcalus Mfg. Co., Inc., 326 U.S. 249 (1945)

Scott Paper Co. v. Marcalus Manufacturing Co., Inc.

No. 54

Argued October 17, 1945

Decided November 13, 1945

326 U.S. 249


1. The nature and extent of the legal consequences of the expiration of a patent are federal questions, the answers to which are to be derived from the patent laws and the policies which they adopt. P. 326 U. S. 255.

2. An assignor of a patent is not estopped by virtue of his assignment to defend a suit for infringement of the assigned patent on the ground that the alleged infringing device is that of a prior art expired patent. Westinghouse Co. v. Formica Co., 266 U. S. 342, distinguished. Pp. 326 U. S. 250, 326 U. S. 257.

3. The application of the doctrine of estoppel so as to foreclose the assignor of a patent from asserting the right to make use of the prior art invention of an expired patent which anticipates that of the assigned patent is inconsistent with the patent laws, which dedicate to public use the invention of an expired patent. P. 326 U. S. 257.

Page 326 U. S. 250

4. The patent laws do not contemplate that anyone, by contract or any form of private arrangement, may withhold from the public the use of the invention of an expired patent, the public right to the enjoyment of which has been secured by the grant of a monopoly of the patented invention for a limited time. P. 326 U. S. 256.

147 F.2d 608 affirmed.

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