Printing and Numerical Registering Company v Sampson

JurisdictionEngland & Wales

Patent - Assignment - Covenant to assign future Patents of like Nature - Public Policy.

An agreement by the vendor of a patent to assign to the purchaser all future patent rights which the vendor may hereafter acquire of a like nature to the patent sold, is not contrary to public policy.

IN August, 1872, Marcus Bebro, William Ashcroft, and Simeon Sampson (the Defendant in this suit) were entitled to seven-eighth shares of letters patent relating to inventions made by Bebro, described as “inventions applicable to the mechanism or apparatus employed for numbering and printing tickets consecutively, and for containing and delivering tickets or continuous lengths of paper, or other similar materials;” and it was intended to form a company with limited liability for the purpose of purchasing and working these patents. Accordingly an agreement in writing, dated the 31st of August, 1872, was entered into between Bebro of the first part, Ashcroft of the second part, the Defendant of the third part, and E. Samuelson of the fourth part, whereby the parties of the first three parts (therein called the vendors) agreed immediately after the allotment of shares in the proposed company to deduce a good title to the aforesaid shares in the said patents, and to assign the same to the company, or trustees for the company; and thereupon the company was to pay to the vendors a sum of £48,750 in such shares and at such time and in such manner as thereby provided. The agreement contained the following stipulation:— “The vendors shall enter into a covenant with the said company to assign, as and when required by the company or their directors, all future patent rights, or in the nature of patent rights, which they or any of them may hereafter acquire with respect to the aforesaid inventions, or any of them, or any of a like nature in the United Kingdom, or any part thereof, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or all or any part of the continent of Europe.”

The proposed company was duly registered and incorporated in December, 1872. The agreement of the 31st of August, 1872, was carried into effect; the purchase-money was paid, and the patents were assigned by the Defendant and the other persons entitled thereto; but no covenant to assign future patents was entered into as provided by the agreement.

In February, 1873, the Defendant took out a patent for an invention which the directors of the company alleged to be of a like nature with those which were the subject of the agreement of August, 1872; and the directors accordingly required the...

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80 cases
  • PW & Company v Milton Gate Investments Ltd
    • United Kingdom
    • Chancery Division
    • 8 August 2003
    ...In that connection, Mr Reynolds relies on a dictum of Sir George Jessel MR in Printing and Numerical Registry Co. -v- Samson (1875) LR 19 Eq 462 at 465. 59 This contention is based on the proposition that the general rule as laid down in Pennell is, to quote Mr Reynolds, "not one of deep le......
  • Buchanan v Alba Diagnostics Ltd
    • United Kingdom
    • House of Lords
    • 5 February 2004
    ...stipulating for the right to any improvements. Sir George Jessel MR put the matter in his usual forthright fashion in Printing and Numerical Registering Company v Sampson (1875) 19 Eq. 462, 464: "Now nothing is better known than this, that when persons have turned their attention to a parti......
  • Bacchus et Al v Khan
    • Guyana
    • Court of Appeal (Guyana)
    • 8 April 1982
    ...on the terms of his motor insurance policy. It was Sir George Jessel who said in Printing and Numerical Registering Co. v. Sampson, (1875) L.R. 19 Eq. 462, at p. 465, that “if there is one thing which more than another public policy requires, it is that men of full age and competent underst......
  • Sasfin (Pty) Ltd v Beukes
    • South Africa
    • Invalid date
    ...Executor (supra at 598) - and see the much-quoted aphorism of Sir George Jessel MR in Printing and Numerical Registration Co v Sampson (1875) LR 19 Eq 462 at 465 referred to in inter alia, Wells v South African Alumenite Company 1927 AD 69 at 73. A further relevant, and G not unimportant, c......
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10 books & journal articles
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Journal No. 1998, December 1998
    • 1 December 1998 23; Janson v Driefontein Consolidated Mines[1902] AC 484 at 491, per Lord Halsbury LC; Printing & Numerical Registering Co v Sampson(1875) LR 19 Eq 462; and Geismar v Sun Alliance and London Insurance Ltd[1978] QB 383 at 389. CfBrooks v Burns Philp Trustee Co Ltd[1969] ALR 321 at 331—349......
  • Assessing the efficacy of forum selection agreements in Commonwealth Africa
    • South Africa
    • Juta Journal of Comparative Law in Africa No. , April 2021
    • 1 April 2021
    ...Wils KB 129.Modi Entertainment Network and Another v WSG Cricket PTE Ltd 2003 (4) SCC 341.Printing & Numerical Registering Co v Sampson (1875) 19 Eq 462.Scherk v Alber to-Culver 417 US 506 (1974).Spiliada Maritime Corpn v Cansulex Ltd [1987] 1 All ER 460.The Fehmarn [1957] 2 Lloyds Rep 551.......
  • Contracts and the Implied Freedom of Political Communication
    • United Kingdom
    • Sage Federal Law Review No. 49-1, March 2021
    • 1 March 2021
    ...with the proper conduct of the newspaper in the public interest’.193186. See, eg, Printing and Numerical Registering Co v Sampson (1875) LR 19 Eq 462, 465 (Jessel MR).187. Patrick Atiyah, The Rise and Fall of Freedom of Contract (Clarendon Press, 1979) 681–715, 726–63. See especially731–42.......
  • Restrain Me Not: Mitchel v Reynolds and Early 18th Century Patent Law
    • Australia
    • University of Western Australia Law Review No. 41-2, January 2017
    • 1 January 2017
    ...entered into freely and voluntarily shall be held sacred and shall be enforced’: Printing and Numerical Registering Company v Sampson (1875) LR 19 Eq 462, 465, Jessel MR. 119A justification for the privileging of contracts was provided by Jessel MR: ‘I have always thought, in those cases wh......
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