Patents – Misuse Doctrine – Exclusive Distributorship Agreements as Patent Misuse
In a suit for infringement of a storm window patent, defendant claimed that relief should be denied because plaintiff allegedly misused the suit patent by requiring its wholesale distributors to maintain sales organizations devoted exclusively to the sale of plaintiff’s windows, and by restraining the distributors from offering merchandise for sale in competition with any article manufactured or distributed by plaintiff. The patent did not comprise an element of the distributor agreements, but was mentioned therein. The trial court denied relief, sustaining the defense of misuse of the suit patent. On appeal, held, affirmed. A patentee’s right does not extend to use of his patent to purge the market of competing non-patented goods by means of exclusive distributor agreements. The F. C. Russell Co. v. Consumers Insulation Co., (3d Cir. 1955) 226 F. (2d) 373.