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Government over the currency, and the obligation of the parties is assumed with reference to that power. Legal Tender Cases, 12 Wall. 457.
The jurisdiction of the several States on the subject of taxation for all State purposes, is supreme, and over it the Federal Government has no power or control. If the State law requires the taxes to be paid in coin. its mandate must be obeyed, although Congress may have made something else a legal tender for debts. State v. Wright, 28 Ill. 509; Whitaker v. Haley, 2 Oregon, 128.
The power of coining money and regulating its value, was delegated to Congress by the Constitution, for the very purpose of creating and preserving the uniformity and purity of such a standard of value, and on account of the impossibility, which was foreseen, of otherwise preventing the inequalities and the confusion necessarily incident to different views of policy which in different communities would be brought to bear on this subject. The power to coin money being thus given to Congress, founded on public necessity, it must carry with it the correlative power of protecting the creature and object of that power. Hence Congress may provide for the punishment of the offense of uttering or circulating counterfeit coin. U. S. v. Marigold, 9 How. 560; Campbell v. U. S. 10 Law Rep. 400; contra, U. S. v. , 12 Law Rep. 90.
(8) The States have the right to regulate weights and measures until Congress shall act on the subject. Weaver v. Fegley, 29 Penn. 27.
Counterfeiting. (h) The term counterfeiting applies to the act of making, in contradistinction to the act of circulating, counterfeit coin. Campbell v. U. S. 10 Law Rep. 400.
There is a manifest distinction between counterfeiting and uttering false coin. The former is an offense directly against the Government, by which individuals may be affected; the latter is a private wrong by which the Government may be remotely, if it will in any degree, be reached. The criminality of the latter consists in obtaining, for a false representative of the true coin, that for which the true coin alone is the equivalent. The latter is an offense against the State, and may be punished by the laws of the State. Fox v. State, 5 How. 410; U. S. v. Marigold, 10 How 560; Harlan v. People, i Doug 207 ; State v. Antonio, 2 Tread. 776; People v. White, 34 Cal. 183; Sizemore v. State, 3 Head, 26.
A State may impose a penalty upon the act of keeping moulds and tools adapted and designed for producing counterfeit coin, coupled with the intent of using them for that purpose. State v. Brown, 2 Oregon, 221.
A State may punish the offense of keeping counterfeit coin with the intent to
Sizemore v. State, 3 Head, 26. Congress has exclusive authority to declare the penalty for the acts necessary for the counterfeiting, that is, the making or producing of the false representation on metal, of the designs found on coin, and the Federal courts exclusive jurisdiction over its enforcement. State v. Brown, 2 Ore
A national bank note is not current coin nor a security of the United States, and a State law to punish the counterfeiting thereof, is valid. State v. Randall, 2 Aik. 89.
Post-offices and Post-roads. (i) The word “establish” means not merely to designate, but to create, erect, build, prepare, fix permanently." To establish post-offices and post
“ roads," means ex vi termini not only the designation and adoption of an existing house and road for a post-office and a post-road, but also more comprehensively the renting or building of a house, and the construction and reparation of a road, and the appropriation of money for any of those national purposes whenever any of them shall be deemed useful. Dickey v. Turnpike Co. 7 Dana, 119.
7 The power to establish post-roads is something more than the power to establish post-offices. The former is as supreme and plenary as the latter, and both together were intended to embrace everything necessary and proper for regulating and transporting the mails in such manner as Congress might deem best. Dickey v. Turnpike Co. 7 Dana, 119.
The power to establish post-roads is deemed to be exhausted in the designation of roads on which the mails are to be transported. U. S. v. Railroad Bridge Co. 6 McLean, 517.
This comprehensive and express power was given not for authorizing the mere designation and use of State roads as post-roads, but for enabling the Government to make, repair and keep open such roads in every State as may, under any circumstances, be necessary for the most effectual and satisfactory fulfillment of the great national trust of transporting the national mails safely, certainly, speedily and punctually without any necessary dependence on the policy or will or purse of any one of the States. Searight v. Stokes, 3 How. 151; Neil v. State, 3 How. 720; Dickey v. Turnpike Co. 7 Dana, 119.
Congress has the power to make contracts relating to the establishment of post-roads. Searight v. Stokes, 3 How. 151.
A mail contractor can not use a road in a State without paying the same tolls as other citizens. Dickey v. Turnpike Co. 7 Dana, 119.
Congress has the power to authorize any telegraph company to con struct, maintain and operate lines of telegraph along any of the military o post-roads of the United States. Pensacola Tel. Co. v. W. U. Tel. Co. Woods, 643.
Patents and Copyrights,
(j) The word "secure" does not mean the protection of an acknowledged legal right. Wheaton v. Peters, 8 Pet. 591.
No State can in any form interfere with the right of private persons under the copyright laws of the United States. Little v. Gould, 2 Blatch. 165, 362.
The Constitution does not authorize the protection of a dramatic composition which is grossly indecent and calculated to corrupt the morals of the people. Martinetti v. Maguire, i Deady, 216; S. C. I Abb. C. C, 356.
In the exercise of this power, Congress is limited to authors and inventors only. This clause, therefore, never can admit of so extensive a construction as to prohibit the respective States from exercising the power of securing to persons introducing useful inventions, without being the authors or inventors, the exclusive benefit of such inventions for a limited time. Livingston v. Van Ingen, 9 Johns. 507.
The power is general to grant to inventors, and it rests in the sound discretion of Congress to say when and for what length of time, and under what circumstances, the patent for an invention shall be granted. There is no restriction which limits the power of Congress to cases where the invention has not been known or used by the public. All that is required is that the patentee shall be the inventor. An act which gives a patent for an invention which was in public use and enjoyed by the community at the time of its passage, is not for that reason unconstitutional. Blanchard v. Sprague, 2 Story, 164; S. C. 3 Sum. 535; Evans v. Jordan, 1 Brock. 248; S. C. 9 Cranch, 199; Jordan v. Dobson, 4 Fish. 232; S. C. 27 Leg. Int. 292.
The power thus granted is domestic in its character, and necessarily confined within the limits of the United States. Brown v. Duchesne, 19 How. 183
This constitutional power might have been fully exercised by Congress in making special grants of patents: Congress might have spent much time by such a course, and may not be the most competent body to investigate the facts and do equal justice to inventors, but this would be a question of expediency and not of constitutional power. Bloomer v. Stolley, 5 McLean, 158.
The machinery through which the right to a patent is ordinarily applied for and obtained, may be dispensed with, and the title may be conferred by a legislative grant, and this may be done in regard to the extension of an
exclusive right the same as in originally granting it. No constitutional restriction appears to exist against the exercise of this power by Congress. Bloomer v. Stolley, 5 McLean, 158.
Congress has the power to confer a new and extended term upon the patentee, even after the expiration of the first. Jordan v. Dobson. 4 Fish. 232; S. C. 27 Leg. Int. 292; Blanchard v. Haynes, 6 West. L. J. 82; Blanchard's Factory v. Warner, 1 Blatch. 258; Evans v. Robinson, i Car. Law Rep. 209.
The power of Congress to secure the rights and privileges of assignees apon extending a patent is incidental to the general power conferred by the Constitution on Congress to promote the progress of the useful arts by securing to inventors for limited times the exclusive right to their discoveries. The assignees of the original patentee are frequently most instrumental in putting the invention into general use, and bringing it successfully before the public by the expenditure of their time and money. More than half, probably, of the useful patented inventions have been thus brought into general public use, the successful results operating directly or indirectly for the benefit and interest of the patentees. Although this would not authorize the renewal of a grant to assignees, as no such power exists in the Constitution, still in exercising the power in favor of the inventor, it. would be going too far to say that Congress has no right to regard incidentally the interests of meritorious assignees. Blanchard's Factory v. Warner, 1 Blatch. 258.
It is not the province of the judiciary to inquire into the reasons which induced the passage of the law, with the view of testing its validity. If constitutional, it must be enforced without regard to the policy or justice which dictated it. No inquiry as to the expenses and labor need be made when a patent is extended by a special act of Congress. Bloomer v. Stolley, 5 McLean, 158.
It does not follow from this power that Congress may from time to time, as they think proper, authorize an inventor to recall rights which he has granted to others, or reinvest in him rights of property which he has before conveyed for a fair and valuable consideration. Bloomer v, McQuewen, 14 How. 539.
Though changes in the patent laws may be retrospective in their operation, that is not a sound objection to their validity. The power of Congress to legislate upon the subject of patents is plenary by the terms of the Constitution, and as there are no restraints on its exercise, there can be no limitation of their right to modify them at their pleasure, so that they do not take away the rights of property in existing patents. M'Clurg v. Kingsland, 1 How. 202.
The property in inventions exists by virtue of the laws of Congress, and
no State has a right to interfere with its enjoyment, or to annex conditions to the grant. If the patentee complies with the laws of Congress on the subject, he has a right to go into the open market anywhere within the United States, and sell his property. An act of a State legislature that attempts to direct the manner in which patent rights shall be sold in the State, is void. Ex parte Robinson, 4 Fish, 186; Hollida v. Hunt, 70 Ill. 109; Helm v. First National Bank, 43 Ind. 167; Crittenden v. White, 9 C. L. N. 110.
If a corporation is the owner of a patent, and its transactions in another State are connected with the sale, use or manufacture of the invention described in the patent, it is not subject to the provisions of the State laws, relating to foreign corporations. Grover & Baker S. M. Co. v. Butler, 53 Ind. 454; Walter A. Wood Mowing Machine Co. v. Caldwell, 54 Ind 270.
No State can require that the consideration of a note given for a patent shall be expressed on the face thereof, and make such note subject the hands of third parties to all defenses which could have been made against the payee. Hollida v. Hunt, 70 III. 109; Cranson v. Smith, 5 Cent. L. J. 386; S. C. 16 A. L. J. 330; Woolen v. Banker, 4 A. L. Rec. 236.
A State law regulating the sale of an article manufactured in pursuance of a patented invention, because it is dangerous, is valid, for there is a manifest distinction between the right of property in the patent and the right to sell the property resulting from the invention or patent. Patterson v. Comm. 11 Bush. 311.
The end of the statute is to encourage useful inventions, and to hold forth the exclusive use of his invention for a limited period as an inducement to the inventor. The sole operation of the statute is to enable him to prevent others from using the products of his labor except with his consent. But his own right of using it is not enlarged or affected. There remains in him, as in every other citizen, the power to manage his property or give direction to his labor at his pleasure, subject only to the paramount claims of society which require that his enjoyment may be modified by the exigencies of the community to which he belongs, and regulated by laws which render it subservient to the general welfare if held subject to State control. An attempt by the legislature in good faith, to regulate the conduct of a portion of its citizens in a matter strictly pertaining to its internal economy, is a legitimate exercise of power, although the law may sometimes indirectly affect the enjoyment of rights flowing from the Federal Government. A patent for a medicine does not confer upon the patentee the right to prescribe it for the sick without complying with the State laws for licensing physicians. Jordan v. Dayton, 4 Ohio, 294.
The right of property in an invention or discovery does not imply the unlimited power of using it. Its use is subject to the laws and under the control of the several States. Livingston v. Van Ingen, 9 Johns. 507.