Leschen Sons Rope Company v. Broderick Bascom Rope Company, 187

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtBrown
Citation50 L.Ed. 710,201 U.S. 166,26 S.Ct. 425
PartiesA. LESCHEN & SONS ROPE COMPANY, Appt. , v. BRODERICK & BASCOM ROPE COMPANY
Docket NumberNo. 187,187
Decision Date19 March 1906

201 U.S. 166
26 S.Ct. 425
50 L.Ed. 710
A. LESCHEN & SONS ROPE COMPANY, Appt.,

v.

BRODERICK & BASCOM ROPE COMPANY.

No. 187.
Argued March 1, 1906.
Decided March 19, 1906.

Page 167

This was a bill in equity brought in the circuit court for the eastern district of Missouri by the appellant, a Missouri corporation, against the appellee, another Missouri corporation, for the infringement of a trademark for wire rope, registered under the act of Congress of March 3, 1881 (21 Stat. at L. 502, chap. 138, U. S. Comp. Stat. 1901, p. 3401).

The bill alleged that the plaintiff, the A. Leschen & Sons Rope Company, in 1888 had 'adopted for its use as a trademark for its highest and best grade of wire rope, a strand of a different color from the other strands of the rope, the said trademark then and now being effected by your orator by painting one of the strands of the rope so as to make it distinctly unlike the other strands of the rope;' that it had continuously used the trademark to the present day; that it had been extensively advertised; that its sale had been very great, and that the company had obtained, December 4, 1900, a registration of such trademark in the office of the Commissioner of Patents.

The bill further averred that early in the year 1900 the defendant company 'commenced to paint one of the strands of its wire rope so as to make it of a distinctly different color from the other strands of the rope;' that on October 31, 1900, it applied to the Commissioner of Patents for a registration; that the Commissioner declared an interference with the plaintiff, upon which proofs were taken, the case fully

Page 168

argued, and plaintiff was declared to be the first to adopt the trademark; that notwithstanding this, defendant continued its unlawful use of this trademark with the intent to defraud plaintiff, to deceive the public, and to take unfair advantage of the demand for plaintiff's wire ropes, and that said mark is being used by said defendant to make sales of rope upon the strength of plaintiff's reputation. The bill further alleged the use of the trademark by both parties in commerce between the United States and foreign countries.

Defendant demurred on the ground that the trademark set up in the bill was not a lawful and valid trademark. The demurrer was sustained, the bill dismissed (123 Fed. 149), and the decree of the circuit court affirmed by the circuit court of appeals. 67 C. C. A. 418, 134 Fed. 571.

Messrs. Melville Church, Hervey S. Knight, J. C. Jones, and George H. Knight for appellant.

Page 169

No counsel for appellee.

Statement by Mr. Justice Brown:

Mr. Justice Brown delivered the opinion of the court:

As both parties are citizens of the state of Missouri, the jurisdiction of the circuit court can only be sustained upon the theory that the case is one arising under the Constitution and laws of the United States.

By an act of Congress of July 8, 1870 (16 Stat. at L. 198-210, § 77, chap. 230), to revise the statutes relating to patents and copyrights (Rev. Stat. § 4937), permission was given citizens of the United States and some others, 'who are entitled to the exclusive use of any lawful trademark, or who intend to adopt and use any trademark for exclusive use within the United States,' to obtain registration of such trademark in the Patent Office; and by act...

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70 cases
  • MASTERCRAFTERS C. & R. CO. v. VACHERON & CONSTANTIN, ETC., Civ. A. No. 79-383.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • 11 Marzo 1954
    ...6 Leschen & Sons Rope Co. v. Fuller, 8 Cir., 1914, 218 F. 786, 789, affirmed A. Leschen & Sons Rope Co. v. Broderick & Bascom Rope Co., 201 U.S. 166, 26 S.Ct. 425, 50 L.Ed. 710; Lewis v. Vendome Bags, Inc., 2 Cir., 1939, 108 F.2d 16, 18, certiorari denied 1940, 309 U.S. 660, 60 S. Ct. 514, ......
  • Christian Louboutin S.A. v. Yves Saint Laurent Am. Holding, Inc., Docket No. 11–3303–cv.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • 5 Septiembre 2012
    ...skepticism that single-color marks could be registered as trademarks, see A. Leschen & Sons Rope Co. v. Broderick & Bascom Rope Co., 201 U.S. 166, 171, 26 S.Ct. 425, 50 L.Ed. 710 (1906) (observing that “[w]hether mere color can constitute a valid trade-mark may admit of doubt”), other court......
  • Levering & Garrigues Co. v. Morrin, 50.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • 23 Agosto 1932
    ...registered, then jurisdiction could not be maintained." And this is substantially repeated in Leschen & Sons Rope Co. v. Broderick, 201 U. S. 166, 26 S. Ct. 425, 50 L. Ed. 710, and Stark Bros. Co. v. Stark, 255 U. S. 50, 52, 41 S. Ct. 221, 65 L. Ed. 496. See, also, Standard Paint Co. v. Tri......
  • Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp., In re, OWENS-CORNING
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
    • 8 Octubre 1985
    ...triangle, a cross, or a star. But the authorities do not go farther than this. A. Leschen & Sons Rope Co. v. Broderick & Bascom Rope Co., 201 U.S. 166, 171, 26 S.Ct. 425, 426, 50 L.Ed. 710 (1906). The Patent Office and the courts followed this view. For example, applications were rejected t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • A FRAGILITY THEORY OF TRADEMARK FUNCTIONALITY.
    • United States
    • University of Pennsylvania Law Review Vol. 169 Nbr. 6, June 2021
    • 1 Junio 2021
    ...the barrel, box, or package can scarcely be considered a mark."); cf. A. Leschen & Sons Rope Co. v. Broderick & Bascom Rope Co., 201 U.S. 166, 170-71 (1906) ("Certainly a trade-mark could not be claimed of a rope, the entire surface of which was colored; and if color be made the ess......

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