Binks Mfg. Co. v. Ransburg Electro-Coating Corp.

PETITIONER: Binks Mfg. Co.
RESPONDENT: Ransburg Electro-Coating Corp.
LOCATION: John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1958-1962)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

CITATION: 366 US 211 (1961)
ARGUED: May 03, 1961 / May 04, 1961
DECIDED: May 08, 1961

Facts of the case


Media for Binks Mfg. Co. v. Ransburg Electro-Coating Corp.

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - May 04, 1961 in Binks Mfg. Co. v. Ransburg Electro-Coating Corp.

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - May 03, 1961 in Binks Mfg. Co. v. Ransburg Electro-Coating Corp.

Earl Warren:

Number 501, Binks Manufacturing Company, Petitioner, versus Ransburg Electro-Coating Corporation.

W. Donald Mcsweeney:

May it please the Court --

Earl Warren:

Mr. McSweeney.

W. Donald Mcsweeney:

-- Mr. Chief Justice.

Before proceeding with my argument, I'd respectfully ask leave of this Court for permission to file a reply brief herein, no later than tomorrow.

We received the answering brief of the respondents only this past Saturday in Chicago.

We've made arrangements to print it overnight and I will make every effort to give the typewritten copy to my opponent this evening.

Earl Warren:

You may do that.

W. Donald Mcsweeney:

Thank you, Your Honor.

This is an antitrust case and involves also the misuse of patents.

With the additional point urged in part 5 of our brief that respondent fraudulently procured the Starkey patents.

That 0.5 will be handled in this oral argument by Mr. Meroni.

I will confine myself to the first four points of our brief.

The issues which I shall discuss are a matter of the restraint of trade and monopoly which we say the totality of the conduct of this respondent has brought about and it has achieved a monopoly position today in the field of airless electrostatic spraying and painting.

Secondly, and we say additionally and standing alone, its practices of tying in equipment leases with patent licenses are illegal.

And we say also that it is engaged in a program of compulsory package licensing of patents which standing alone is illegal.

And that it has violated the laws because of its dominant position and its position holding basic patent of requiring in its patent license agreements grant-back clauses of future inventions.

John M. Harlan II:


W. Donald Mcsweeney:

No, I'm not, Your Honor, I think there were erroneous legal tests applied here.

I think I shall demonstrate or even from construing the agreements, you'll find for example with respect to the tie-in argument that ? that the agreement, the so called alternative agreement of theirs compelled a prospective licensee to go back to Ransburg, the respondent to get equipment.

The petitioner, Binks -- Binks Manufacturing Company commenced this action by filing a declaratory judgment action.

It was there or it's been a -- and that was in 1946 -- in 1956, October.

There was a counterclaim filed by a respondent, Ransburg, beyond alleging infringement of the Starkey method patent.

Binks, the petitioner, denied infringement alleged invalidity and misuse of the patent and charged violations of the Sherman and Clayton Acts.

The -- later, when the Starkey apparatus patent issued in June of 1957, it was brought in to the lawsuit in May of 1958.

The District Court found in favor of the respondent Ransburg, on all issues.

And the Court of Appeals affirmed except with respect to the matter of allowing Ransburg attorney's fees and the matter of attorney's fees is not here before this Court, matter of Ransburg's attorney's fees.

Now, the respondent Ransburg is in the business of leasing equipment used in electrostatic spray coating or painting.

There are, and we shall be discussing, two different painting processes which the respondent leads us.

First, which is called the number one process and then later commencing in 1951, they began marketing their number two process.