Case Comment

Sykes v.

citation(s): (1879), 48 L.J. Ch. 769, (1879) 12 Ch. D. 826

copyright 1997 Donald M. Cameron, Aird & Berlis




The Decision

At p.832-833:

"I have come to the conclusion that the nailer must be deemed to have been the agent, for the purpose of nailing on, of the Defendant."

"It has been strongly urged before me that the act of the Defendant was not an infringement of the letters patent. To answer that question it is necessary to have recourse to the form of the letters patent themselves. The prohibiting part of the letters patent directs that no person except the patentee and those who derive title under him shall during the period of the existence of the patent "either directly or indirectly do, use, or put in practice the said invention." "Putting in practice" is evidently in the mind of the Crown something different from user, and I really do not know what could be "putting in practice" as contrasted with "using", if what the Defendant did in this case was not putting in practice the Plaintiff's invention. In my judgment, therefore he either directly or indirectly made or put in practice the Plaintiff's invention."

At p. 833:

"... I entirely agree, if I may say so, that selling articles to persons to be used for the purpose of infringing a patent is not an infringement of the patent."


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