5 Air L. Rev. 282 (1934)
The Regenerative Circuit Litigation

handle is hein.journals/airlr5 and id is 284 raw text is: THE REGENERATIVE CIRCUIT LITIGATION1
ALFRED McCORMACK
ON May 21, 1934, the Supreme Court handed down its
opinion in the case of Radio Corporation v. Radio Engineering
Laboratories, Inc.,2 sustaining two patents to Lee DeForest, cover-
ing the invention of the Regenerative Circuit. On June 14, 1934,
Mr. Justice Cardozo, who had written the opinion, stayed the
mandate of the Court, pending consideration of a petition for re-
hearing.' By sustaining these patents, the Court extended until
1941 the patent monopoly over the most important circuit arrange-
ment in the radio field-an invention which dominates broadcasting,
commercial transmission of messages, long-lines high frequency
telephony, and the many communication and other devices in which
the regeneration of radio-frequency currents is employed.
The decision of the Supreme Court is (omitting subsidiary
litigation) the thirteenth pronouncement by an administrative or
judicial tribunal on the question of priority, as between Lee De-
Forest and Edwin H. Armstrong, in respect of this invention. Be-
fore the Supreme Court's decision, six of these tribunals had decided
the question of fact in favor of Armstrong and six had either decided
the question in favor of DeForest or had affirmed or refused to dis-
turb decisions in his favor.
The controversy has an astonishing history. It began on
October 29, 1913, when two inventors filed patent applications dis-
closing the principle of radio-frequency regeneration and claiming
the arrangement of tuned radio-frequency circuits which is charac-
teristic of the invention. The two men who thus filed their applica-
tions were not Armstrong and DeForest, but Armstrong and Irving
Langmuir of the General Electric Company. Armstrong's patent
was issued on October 6, 1914 and in a subsequent interference
proceeding Armstrong quickly prevailed This patent disclosed
the regenerative circuit in all of its functions, and the claims covered
Avrirr McCoaRpxxAC is a member of the New York Bar.
'The writer was requested to prepare this paper during an absence from New
York, and it was written largely from memory and without access to the original
sources. It may, therefore, be found to be insufficiently annotated. The writer
desires to record the fact that, while he was engaged in one of the earlier phasel
of the litigation, he participated in no way in the infringement suit recently decided
by the Supreme Court.
'54 Sup. Ct. 752 (1934).
'N. Y. Times, June 19, 1934 at 29.
'Not reported in Official Gazette.

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