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    WOODWARD CO. v. HURD, 232 U.S. 428 (1914)

    U.S. Supreme Court

    WOODWARD CO. v. HURD, 232 U.S. 428 (1914)

    232 U.S. 428

    WOODWARD COMPANY
    v.
    JAMES D. HURD, Consolidated Rubber Tire Company, and Rubber Tire Wheel Company.
    No. 142.

    Argued December 17, 1913.
    Decided February 24, 1914.

    Mr. Charles K. Offield for the Woodward Company.

    Mr. Walter E. Ward for Hurd et al.

    Mr. Justice Hughes delivered the opinion of the court:

    The recitals of the certificate with respect to the Grant patent, and the decrees which have been rendered in suits brought for its infringement, are identical with those contained in the certificate in Seim v. Hurd, decided this day [ 232 U.S. 420 , 58 L. ed. --, 34 Sup. Ct. Rep. 406]. The questions certified are, in substance, the same. The facts of the present case are thus stated in the certificate:

    It thus appears that the Kokomo Company did not make the patented device, but only one of its elements,-the rubber stock. Nor did the defendant itself make the patented articlc. The defendant, buying from the Diamond Company the rubber that had been made by the Kokomo Company, and otherwise obtaining the necessary channel of metal and the retaining wires, sold all the parts to be united into the patented structure by its customers. Neither the right of the Kokomo Company, by virtue of the decree in its favor, to make and sell the patented thing, or to make and sell its rubber, nor its right to have the commodity which it lawfully produces freely move as an article of commerce through the channels of trade without hindrance by the owners of the patent, is here involved. See Rubber Tire Wheel Co. v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. decided this day [ 232 U.S. 413 , 58 L. ed. --, 34 Sup. Ct. Rep. 403]. The case as stated concerns the liability of the defendant as a contributory infringer upon the assumption that, in the manner described, it assembles the various elements essential to the making of the Grant tire, and sells them with the intent and purpose that they shall be so combined.

    Can the defendant demand immunity upon the ground that one of the elements in which it dealt was made and sold by the Kokomo Company? We think not. It is not [232 U.S. 428, 430]   simply a purchaser of, or dealer in, that which the Kokomo Company produces. The defendant goes beyond that; it buys from others the parts that are as much needed in effecting the patented combination as the rubber itself, and sells them in order that the infringing device may be constructed by its customers.

    The fourth question which is certified by the court below is:

    We answer this question in the negative. The other questions are not raised by the case made, and hence are left unanswered.

    It is so ordered.

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