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HOOK v. HOOK & ACKERMAN (11/09/53)

November 9, 1953

HOOK, EXRX.,
v.
HOOK & ACKERMAN, INC., APPELLANT



Appeal, No. 211, March T., 1953, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Oct. T., 1950, in Equity, No. 403, in case of Ruth M. Hook, EXRX., Estate of C. Howard Hook, deceased, v. Hook & Ackerman, Inc. Decree affirmed; reargument refused November 30, 1953.

COUNSEL

Harry Price, with him Charles L. Cunningham and Stonecipher & Cunningham, for appellant.

George L. Eynon, with him Clarence H. Clasper and Shoemaker & Eynon, for appellee.

Before Stern, C.j., Stearne, Jones, Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno and Arnold, JJ.

Author: Stern

[ 375 Pa. Page 279]

OPINION BY MR. CHIEF JUSTICE HORACE STERN

This is a suit in equity for an accounting for royalties allegedly due under a license agreement covering a patent for heater boilers.

The agreement was entered into in 1945 between Hook and Ackerman, Inc., a Pennsylvania corporation, and Harold S. Ackerman and plaintiff's decedent, C. Howard Hook. The agreement declared that the individuals, Hook and Ackerman, were the owners each of an undivided one-half part of a patent No. 2,247,796 for heater boilers, and they granted the corporation the exclusive right and license to manufacture, use and sell boilers covered by the patent and to license others so to do. The corporation agreed to pay Hook and Ackerman each a royalty of 5% of the net selling

[ 375 Pa. Page 280]

    price of the type of boilers then being manufactured by the corporation under said patent. The corporation further agreed to maintain proper books of account of all boilers manufactured and sold by it coming under the agreement and to render quarterly statements to Hook and Ackerman showing the number of boilers manufactured and sold during the previous quarter, such records of account to be available for the inspection of Hook or Ackerman or a certified public accountant designated by them. The agreement was to remain in force and effect during the life of the patent and any extensions, reissues and continuations thereof, and was to inure to the benefit of the parties, their legal representatives, successors and assigns. There were several other provisions not pertinent, however, to the present controversy.

Originally one-half of the stock of the corporation was owned by Hook and one-half by Ackerman, but at the time the license agreement was entered into Hook withdrew from the corporation and sold all his stock to another party.

Defendant corporation paid Hook the quarterly royalties due him down to October 1, 1948, but none thereafter. Plaintiff's complaint prayed for an accounting and that defendant be ordered to make its books and records available for inspection and audit and pay to plaintiff all royalties due in accordance with the agreement. Defendant filed an elaborate answer, to which plaintiff replied. Hearing was had, with the result that the chancellor, who made extensive findings of fact and conclusions of law, decreed that judgment be entered in favor of plaintiff and against defendant in the sum of $20,248.38, being $18,074.75 ...


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