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place or part only. What rights the legal decisions in interpretation of this section may allow to the assignee in one district to prevent the use of the patented articles bought in another district remains to be seen. This question was discussed under the old law, for the first time, in the case of Smith v. Buchanan, 26 S. J. 347.

In this case the plaintiff had granted to certain parties a license to manufacture and sell his patented invention within the counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire. These licensees had sold the patented machines to the defendants, who, in their turn, had sold them outside the licensed counties, namely, in Glasgow and elsewhere. The plaintiff had commenced an action for infringement in respect of these sales, and now moved for an interim injunction. The case which he sought to establish was that the restriction imposed by the limited license attached to the patented machines in whatever hands they might be; and he founded this proposition upon the maxim that a vendor cannot give his vendee a better title or a greater right than he himself possesses in the subjectmatter of the sale, and that in the case of a patent this maxim is absolutely unqualified, inasmuch as the doctrine of purchase for valuable consideration without notice cannot there be applied. However, Hall (V.-C.) refused the motion, with costs, upon the ground that a purchaser from a licensee, whether

special or general, acquires the patented articles for all purposes, and can exercise every right of ownership in respect of it.

The duration of the term of letters patent remains Term of unaltered (1).


British on expiry of


By s. 25 of the Patent Law Amendment Act, Lapse of 1852 (m), it was enacted that letters patent obtained foreign in the United Kingdom for patented foreign inventions were not to continue in force after the expiration of the foreign patent. The word "grant" in this section (quoted below) refers to the date of the letters patent, which is the date of application, and not the date of sealing (n). If the patent was French the English patent could not be held void until the annulment was pronounced by a French

(1) See s. 17.

(m) 15 & 16 Vict. c. 83, s. 25: "Where upon any application made after the passing of this Act letters patent are granted in the United Kingdom for and in respect of any invention first invented in any foreign country or by the subject of any foreign power or state, and a patent or like privilege for the monopoly or exclusive use or exercise of such invention in any foreign country is there obtained before the grant of such letters patent in the United Kingdom, all rights and privileges under such letters patent shall (notwithstanding any term in such letters patent limited) cease and be void immediately upon the expiration or other determination of the term during which the patent or like privilege obtained in such foreign country shall continue in force . . ." (Repealed.)

(n) Holste v. Robertson, 4 Ch. D. 9; 15 & 16 Vict. c. 83, s. 24. (Repealed.)

court, until which the English patent remained in force (0). The provisions of this section are, however, not re-enacted, and in future no English patent can be rendered invalid by the expiry of a foreign patent bearing a prior date. It is, however, necessary to consider this provision; for there may be many presumably valid patents which have become invalid because of this section of the repealed law, and, if so, there is no provision in the new Act to enable them to be confirmed. For instance, the patent known as the Nordenfelt gun patent is now being attacked on this very ground. The date of the Belgian patent was the 12th of May, 1873; the date of the English patent the 13th of May, 1873; the date of annulment in Belgium the 17th of November, 1883. Unfortunately for the owners of the patent the proceedings in Belgium were not prolonged until the 1st January, 1884, when the annulment would have had no effect on the British patent (p).

(0) Daw v. Eley, L. R. 3 Eq. 497. In this case the motion was to commit the defendants, Messrs. Eley, for a breach of injunction, but on the expiry of the patent the motion was dismissed with costs.

(p) The cause of the annulment in Belgium was the failure of the patentee to work (exploiter) the invention in that country in accordance with the requirements of the Belgian patent law. It was necessary to obtain a royal decree of annulment. The proceedings to obtain the annulment are not similar to those required in France, where a decree of one of the Chambers of the Civil Tribunal is required, but consist of

tion and confirma


Prolongations may be obtained, as heretofore, on Prolongapetition to the Judicial Committee of the Privy tion of Council (g), as provided by the 5 & 6 Will. IV. patent. c. 83 (repealed); but the jurisdiction conferred upon that body to confirm letters patent by the same Act is not re-enacted. It is to be hoped that the powers given to the comptroller, as to amendment, &c., will be sufficiently large to supply this deficiency, and afford relief in all cases which bear hardly upon the patentee, and can be remedied without detriment to other persons. The existing procedure and practice are maintained; but Her Majesty in Council may from time to time make such amendments to the present rules and such new rules (r) as may from time to time be required. Many persons have expressed an opinion that the Communirules (s) and form (t) of application for patents for inventions communicated from abroad are ultra vires, on the ground that the required declaration :

a petition to the Minister, accompanied by affidavits as to facts. Time was given to the patentees to furnish evidence of working, or reasons for not doing so. Their answer failed to satisfy the Minister, who would then, in the usual course, forward the petition to the King with his opinion that it should be granted. The decree of annulment was then published in the Moniteur Officiel, and the Belgian patent and all the rights existing thereby ceased.

(q) See s. 25.

(r) For rules and regulations of the Privy Council, see p. 185. (8) Patents Rules, 27, p. 199.

(t) Patents Forms, A1, p. 221.



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which invention has been communicated to me from abroad by ; that I claim to be the first and true inventor thereof, &c." contains a false statement, viz. that the applicant "is the first and true inventor." In support of this view a dictum of Vice-Chancellor Wood (Lord Hatherley), in the case of Milligan v. Marsh (u), is quoted. In this case an agent took out a patent for an invention communicated from abroad in his own namе. The agent maintained it was his own invention, because the merit of the invention consisted in improvements he had made upon the communication, which, as it originally stood, was not subject-matter for letters patent. The learned judge intimated that, if this were true, the agent had a perfect right to the invention, but went on to say: "The case made is, this was an invention of the plaintiff's communicated to the defendant. In such a case the letters patent, being taken out by

(u) 2 Jur. (N. S.) 1083, in the year 1856.

In the case of Renard v. Levenstein (10 L. T. (N. S.) 177) Lord Justice Knight Bruce expressed grave doubts as to whether "it was not incumbent upon the patentee to distinguish, to define, and particularise what is new and what is old, which there is not done." The context shows that the meaning of the term "new" was that part of the invention invented in this country after the communication, and of "old" that part of the invention which had been communicated.

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