January 19, 2014

Cheney Brothers v. Doris Silk Corp. - 35 F.2d 279, cert. denied, 281 U.S. 728 (1930) - US Court of Appeals

FACTS: The plaintiff manufactures silks which are put out each year in new and different patterns.  Most don't catch on but perhaps 1/5 do.  it is nearly impossible to secure design patent on these patterns b/c of their short life (usually 8-9 months).  The defendant copied one of the plaintiff's designs and undercut the price of the plaintiff.

HISTORY:

ISSUE: Can the court extend the plaintiff temporary protection?

HOLDING: No

RATIONALE: 

1) Would conflict with the process used by congress.

2) "To exclude others from the enjoyment of a chattel is one thing; to prevent any imitation of it, to set up a monopoly in the plan of its structure, gives the author a power over his fellows vastly greater, a power which the constitution allows only Congress to create"

DISPOSITION: Order affirmed and the bill can be dismissed if the defendant wants to.