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Under Augustus, certain of these jurisconsults were designated by the emperor to give official opinion on questions of law, when asked. Many of these opinions were written. Collections of them were made and they were given the force of law, which magistrates were bound to follow. Later jurisconsults revised the opinions of the earlier. By the time of Justinian the jurisconsults had passed out of existence, but their opinions continued to be quoted. Many of them were adverse to others. To render the law easier to the practitioner was the reason Justinian caused these lists of opinions to be examined, the leading ones to be collated and the whole to be codified. Thus these opinions given under the influence of Greek philosophy and Christianity, made by persons not members of the judicial system, became a part of the Roman Law.

Under the empire the development of the law was toward centralization and consolidation. Upon the emperors were conferred all the rights existing in the state. They held the title of imperator, were given the powers possessed by the various officials and magistrates, and were at the head of the old religion. They were absolute masters of the state. However, they permitted its constitutional forms to remain, apparently unchanged. They took the sovereign power into their hands but slowly.

The duties of the old comitia curiata came to consist of conferring the various powers, under the title of lex regia, upon the various emperors as they came upon the stage. As consul, the emperor summoned the comitia centuriata. As tribune, he summoned the comitia tributa. The duties of each assembly consisted in confirming laws submitted to them by him and electing to office such persons as he nominated. The leges and plebiscites of the two bodies ceased to have any particular significance and in time the emperors ceased to lay laws before them even to be confirmed. As censor, he reconstructed the senate to suit his whims. As princeps senatus, he directed the deliberations of the senate. The senatus consulta, or decrees of the senate, were originally permission to the comitia to pass designated laws. By the end of the republic they came to have the force of law without reference to the comitia, but they were generally confined to matters of administration. The emperors caused them to supersede the leges, when they became like the latter, mere confirmations of laws proposed by the emperor, though they were now termed orationes. By the close of the second century of the Christian era these, too, had entirely disappeared.

In the courts cases were conducted as before, but the emperor assumed the right to act as an appellate court and to revise such judicial sentences as he wished. This custom led to the practice of instructing magistrates previous to their decisions and even to the emperor taking original jurisdiction in a matter, in which latter case he was assisted in the trial by a judicial council.

The edict of the praetor continued. It was studied very carefully and slowly grew into a permanent and codified form. During the reign of Hadrian it was issued in a sygtematic form under the title of the perpetual edict, confirmed by the senate in the year 131 A. D., and became an integral part of Roman Law.

Thus all legislation fell into the hands of the emperors beginning with the reign of Hadrian. Their legislation was known as constitutions. These were of a very great variety and are generally grouped under the following heads:

(a) Edicts: Laws of a general nature universal in application.

(b) Decrees: Judicial decisions in cases brought before the emperor.

(c) Rescripts: Written answers to questions generally of limited application.

(d) Mandates: Official instructions to public officials.

(e) Privileges: Acts having reference to one person or cause.

RECENT DECISIONS RELATING TO PATENTS.

W. E. NOBBE
(National University Law School, '28)

(Selected from Underwood's Digest)

CONTRACTS BETWEEN EMPLOYER AND EMPLOYEE TO

TRANSFER INVENTIONS.

(Conway v. White, 9 F. 863, 866.) A contract of employment providing that inventions made by the employee during the term of employment and usable by the employer should be the property of the employer, made to safeguard the business, held not to lack consideration, and not unreasonable, invalid, or conscionable. It was also held that time in equity is not ordi. narily regarded as the essence of a contract, differing from law in this respect, and a default in the time of payment (as of an employee's salary) does not necessarily defeat the right to specific performance of a contract to assign inventions.

PUNITIVE DAMAGES MAY BE AWARDED FOR WILLFUL

INFRINGEMENT.
(Standard Oil Co. v. Roxana Petroleum Corp.)

(9F. 453.) The remedies for infringement are either at law or in equity, and where evidence shows that infringement was willful, punitive damages, if awarded, must be determined by the court.

FRAUD NOT AN ISSUE IN A SUIT FOR INFRINGEMENT. (Electro-Bleaching Gas Co. v. Paradon Engineering Co.)

(8F. 890, 896.) That a patent in suit was obtained by fraud or deceit is not an issue which can properly be tendered by defendant in a suit for infringement thereof. (Editorial note: Fraud or deceit in obtaining a patent is a ground for the annulment of the patent at the suit of the United States.)

OBJECT OF DESIGN STATUTES TO ENCOURAGE ART|

(Pashek v. Dunlop Tyre & Rubber Co., 8 F. 640.) The object of the design statutes is to encourage works of art and decoration which appeal to the eye, and an article which is constructed substantially for its functional utility is therefore not within the purview of the statute. Consequently, it was held in this decision that an automobile tire the tread surface of which is made up of a certain design of ribs and grooves, constructed for functional utility, is not proper subject-matter for a design patent.

"LICENSE" DEFINED. (DeForest Radio Telephone & Telegraph Co. v. Radio Corporation of

America, 9 F. 150.) A "license” is a permission to make, use, or sell articles embodying invention, or is a transfer which does not affect the monopoly of the patent, otherwise than by stopping the licensor from exercising its prohibitory powers in derogation of privileges conferred on the licensee. A license may be expressed, and conferred by written instrument or parol or be implied from circumstances operating to estop the owner from denying the rights of the apparent licensee.

CLAIMS ORDINARILY GIVEN BROADER INTERPRETATION. (International Banding Machine Co. v. American Banding Co., 9 F.

606, 608.) "It is the duty of the court to read a claim in the light of the entire disclosure of the patent as a whole. It will interpret an expression positively recited in the ciaim, as satisfied by any suitable instrumentality capable of performing the stated function successfully, unless, by so doing, violence to some other patent may be committed. It should never interpret a positively recited generic expression as limited to the precise instrumentality disclosed by the patent, except where such narrow interpretation is necessary to distinguish the claim from the prior art.”

INVENTOR MAY USE HIS OWN FORM OF EXPRESSION IN

CLAIMS. (Skinner Irr. Co. v. March Automatic Irr. Co., 9 F. 751.) In making his claim an inventor is at liberty to use his own form of expression; but the invention must be described, and the mode of putting it to practical use clearly explained.

DEFENDANT MAY GIVE COURT JURISDICTION BY CONSENT. (Postage Meter Co. v. Standard Mailing Mach. Co., 9 F. 19, 22.)

In suit for the infringement of a patent, brought in a district of which defendant is not an inhabitant nor has a regular or established place of business, the court nevertheless has jurisdiction where defendant consents to be sued there.

CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTION AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION

NOT APPLICABLE TO PATENT INFRINGEMENT SUIT.

(Standard Oil Co. v. Roxana Petroleum Corp., 9 F. 453.) A patent suit, which is a civil action to enjoin the further infringement of letters patent, and to recover damages sustained by plaintiff by reason of alleged infringement, is not within cause of Fifth Amend. ment of United States Constitution against self-incrimination as such clause applies only to "criminal cases,” which means a prosecution for a criminal offense against party who is a witness. A corporation is not a "person” within the meaning of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution against self-incrimination.

INFRINGEMENT A QUESTION OF FACT—FINDING BY COURT OF

CLAIMS-REVIEW BY SUPREME COURT.

(Stilz v. The United States, 342 0. G. 256.)

Infringement is a question of fact, and a finding thereon by the Court of Claims is in the nature of special verdict of a jury which the Supreme Court can not review (citing Collier v. United States, 173 U. S. 79); and even where a finding determines a mixed question of law and fact it is conclusive unless the court is able to separate the question to see whether there is a mistake of law.

AMENDMENT AFTER FINAL REJECTION.

(Speer, 343 0. G. 483.)

Where the applicant, after the case had been pending over four years and a clear issue had been reached, presented a new claim with an appeal to the Examiners-in-Chief, arguing that it presented the same subject matter as the claim under final rejection in a different form, the Examiner properly refused to enter and consider the new claim.

APPEAL LIES FROM REFUSAL OF PATENT BECAUSE OF LACK

OF DISCLOSURE AND DEFINITION OF INVENTION.

(Cameron, 342 0. G. 255.)

Appeal lies from the final refusal of a patent by the primary examiner on the ground that applicant has failed to comply with the requirements of Par. 4888 R. S., that the invention be described "in such full, clear, concise, and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art ... to make," etc., the same, and the admission by the examiner that he was unable to understand in what feature or features applicant believed his invention to reside does not deprive the examiners-in-chief of jurisdiction of the appeal.

WHEN INTERFERING APPLICATIONS COME INTO COMMON

OWNERSHIP INTERFERENCE WILL BE DISSOLVED.

(Tunstall v, White, 343 O. G. 228.)

Where, during the pendency of an interference between two applica. tions, it is made to appear from a final decision of a Federal court that the same trustee is the owner of both inventions, the interference will be dissolved and the applications restored to the jurisdic. tion of the primary examiner to require election.

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