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SEARS, ROEBUCK & CO. V. STIFFEL CO., 376 U. S. 225 (1964)

U.S. Supreme Court

Sears, Roebuck & Co. v. Stiffel Co., 376 U.S. 225 (1964)

Sears, Roebuck & Co. v. Stiffel Co.

No. 108

Argued January 16, 1964

Decided March 9, 1964

376 U.S. 225


Respondent, whose design and mechanical patents are invalid for want of invention, cannot, under a state unfair competition law, obtain an injunction against copying its product or an award of damages for such copying, as such use of state law conflicts with the exclusive power of the Federal Government to grant patents only to true inventions, and then only for a limited time. An unpatented article, being in the public domain, may be freely copied, though labeling or other precautions may be required by state law where appropriate to prevent deception as to source. Pp. 376 U. S. 225-233.

313 F.2d 115, reversed.

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