MacGregor v. Westinghouse Electric & Mfg. Co.

Decision Date01 May 1942
Docket NumberNo. 1876 Civil Action.,1876 Civil Action.
Citation45 F. Supp. 236
CourtU.S. District Court — Western District of Pennsylvania

William B. Jaspert, of Pittsburgh, Pa., for plaintiff.

Brown Critchlow & Flick and Jo. Baily Brown, all of Pittsburgh, Pa., for defendant.

GIBSON, District Judge.

The facts involved in the instant matter, recited substantially and in sequence as they appear in the Complaint, are as follows:

The defendant (hereinafter called Westinghouse) was the owner of Patent No. 1,651,709, for a brazing solder containing phosphorus and copper as its main and essential ingredients. In 1937 it brought suit in this court against the plaintiff for alleged infringement. This action was settled by plaintiff entering into an agreement with defendant by which the former was given a non-exclusive right to the use and sale of the patented solder, and pursuant to his said license plaintiff has continuously paid royalty upon a solder composed only of copper and phosphorus. Since taking the license he has been making and selling two solders, one containing phosphorus, copper and a small amount of tin, and the other phosphorus, copper and a small amount of silver. Patents upon these two solders have been issued to him. These solders, he alleges, do not come within the Westinghouse patent, and he has refused to pay royalties thereon. On February 17, 1942, Westinghouse brought an action of assumpsit in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County against plaintiff wherein it claimed royalties upon the last solders mentioned.

Thereupon, on March 11, 1942, the complainant instituted the instant action wherein he seeks a judgment "declaring that it is the right of the plaintiff to continue to make, manufacture, use and sell brazing solders or alloys comprising copper, phosphorus and silver and a brazing solder or alloy comprising copper, phosphorus and tin * * * without any threats, let, hindrance or other interference whatsoever by or from the defendant." He also prays for a decree that the license agreement (upon which royalty has been paid) be declared illegal and void, and that Westinghouse be enjoined from instituting any suit predicated upon it, etc. This prayer is based upon the allegation that the license agreement violates the anti-trust laws.

The defendant has moved the court to dismiss the Complaint, first, that the court lacks jurisdiction; second, the declaratory judgment prayed is not proper under the existing circumstances; third, aside from a prayer for a declaratory judgment, the Complaint does not state any cause of action arising under a Federal statute, and, fourth, the Complaint does not state any claim against defendant upon which relief can be granted.

Both complainant and defendant are residents of the State of Pennsylvania, and this being so our first inquiry is whether the subject matter of the Complaint is within the scope of a Federal statute granting exclusive jurisdiction to this court over such matter. That jurisdiction, it is claimed, is under the patent statutes of the United States.

It will be noted that no charge of infringement of its patent can be asserted by Westinghouse against the complainant. It has licensed the complainant to use its patent, and the license has never been cancelled. It must depend entirely upon the claim for royalty because an infringement charge would be met by a plea of license. On the other hand, the complainant...

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10 cases
  • Aralac, Inc. v. Hat Corporation of America
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Third Circuit
    • February 10, 1948
    ...165 U.S. 624, 17 S.Ct. 425, 41 L.Ed. 851; Dale Tile Mfg. Co. v. Hyatt, 125 U.S. 46, 8 S.Ct. 756, 31 L.Ed. 683; MacGregor v. Westinghouse Electric & Mfg. Co., D.C., 45 F.Supp. 236, affirmed 3 Cir., 130 F.2d 870 c. 5; see also Measurements Corp. v. Ferris Instrument Corp., supra. See E. Edelm......
  • Vanderveer v. Erie Malleable Iron Company
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Third Circuit
    • November 16, 1956
    ...32 S.Ct. 364, 56 L.Ed. 645; Luckett v. Delpark, Inc., 1926, 270 U.S. 496, 46 S.Ct. 496, 70 L.Ed. 703; MacGregor v. Westinghouse Electric & Mfg. Co., D.C.W.D. Pa.1942, 45 F.Supp. 236, affirmed 3 Cir., 1942, 130 F.2d 870. 9 Pratt v. Paris Gas Light & Coke Company, 1897, 168 U.S. 255, 259, 18 ......
  • Components, Inc. v. Western Electric Company
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Maine
    • October 23, 1970
    ...agreement. Thiokol Chemical Corp. v. Burlington Industries, Inc., 313 F.Supp. 253, 255 (D.Del.1970); MacGregor v. Westinghouse Electric & Mfg. Co., 45 F. Supp. 236, 237 (W.D.Pa.), aff'd, 130 F.2d 870 (3rd Cir. 1942); cf. Tuthill v. Wilsey, 182 F.2d 1006, 1008 (7th Cir. 1950) (allegations by......
  • WR Grace & Co. v. Union Carbide Corporation
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of New York
    • September 25, 1970
    ...validity and scope of the patent could not possibly exist between a patentee and his licensee, accord, MacGregor v. Westinghouse Elec. & Mfg. Co., 45 F.Supp. 236, 237 (W.D.Pa.1942), aff'd per curiam, 130 F.2d 870 (3rd Cir. 1942) since a patentee could not charge the licensee with infringeme......
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