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THOMPSON v. HUBBARD. HUBBARD V. THOMPSON.

decided: May 13, 1889.

THOMPSON
v.
HUBBARD.

HUBBARD
v.
THOMPSON.



APPEALS FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI.

Author: Blatchford

[ 131 U.S. Page 143]

 MR. JUSTICE BLATCHFORD, after stating the case, delivered the opinion of the court.

We are unable to concur in the conclusion of the Circuit Court on the question of the sale by Thompson to Hubbard of the copyright of the Manning book.

The price of the book and its copyright, including originals of cuts, circulars, plates and book stamps, having been fixed by agreement at $4000, the disputed point in the negotiations of March 30, 1880, was as to the extent of territory to be allowed to Thompson for the sale of the Manning book, he insisting upon being allowed more territory than was specified in the draft agreements produced by Hubbard. The two drafts, one of which was retained by each party, differ practically only as to the amount of territory in which Thompson was to be allowed to sell the Manning book. The two instruments agree as to the territory in which Thompson was to have an exclusive right to sell the other publications of Hubbard.

The two parties differ in their testimony as to what was

[ 131 U.S. Page 144]

     agreed upon in regard to the clause which is substantially the same in both of the instruments, namely: "The field on stock book to be the same as on H. Bros.' books except the six counties in Missouri adjacent to Kansas City," Hubbard testifying that his copy represented exactly what had been settled upon, and that the concluding paragraph was added to make everything certain, while Thompson testifies that he supposed the concluding sentence was added to express the understanding about the plates being collateral security for the notes which were to be given, although the special provision about the collateral security was inserted in the paper retained by him, as well as in that which he signed.

The two papers agree in providing for the sale to Hubbard of the plates of the Manning book, including copyright, the originals of cuts, the stamps for binding, and the plates for circulars, for $4000, the same to be delivered, well boxed, at the depot in St. Louis, free of charge for boxing or drayage, as soon as the first edition, then printing, should be off the press. They also agree in stating that Thompson should pay for all books which should be manufactured from the plates upon his order, with his exclusive imprint and copyright mark, if ordered in lots of not less than 500 at a time, payable in cash in 60 days, the price to be 10 per cent in advance of the cost to Hubbard Bros. of their manufacture, and also the further cost of boxing and drayage.

The two papers also agree in providing that, for the period of two years, Thompson would publish no books except those he then had in course of publication, namely, Texas History, Almanac and the Tice Almanac, and would devote his energies largely for that period of the vigorous prosecution of the sale of the publications (books and bibles) of Hubbard Bros., and theirs exclusively, (including bibles,) aside from his own, as named, paying for the same within sixty days of date of bills, at the rate of 65 per cent off from the retail prices, and for all circulars, prospectus books, posters, etc., at cost.

The two papers also agree in the time and manner of payment, in cash and in notes, for the plates and copyright.

The two papers also agree in providing that Hubbard Bros.

[ 131 U.S. Page 145]

     should supply Thompson with all books he might order from such plates in 500 lots, with his exclusive imprint and copyright mark, at 10 per cent advance on the actual cost of manufacture, also the cost of boxing and drayage, to be paid in cash on the receipt of the goods by Thompson; and in the statement that Hubbard Bros. would supply Thompson with their other books and bibles at a discount of 65 per cent from the retail prices of the same, and that they granted him the exclusive right of the sale of their "close" books in certain specified territory; and in stating that each party should be responsible to the other in the amount of $1 per copy for any "close" or exclusive books sold in the territory of the other, and that all applications for agency coming from without the field of either should be referred to the party having the exclusive right of sale, and a charge of 50 cents be made for each application so referred, and that, if Thompson should go out of business, or for any reason cease to prosecute the sale of the Manning book, the right of sale in his exclusive field should revert to Hubbard Bros., unless his successor should prosecute the sale in like manner as he would have done.

Afterwards, in correspondence with Hubbard, Thompson insisted upon being allowed a larger territory for the sale of the Manning book than that specified in the paper he had signed. Hubbard insisted that the provision which appears in both of the papers, "The field on stock book to be the same as on H. Bros.' books except the six counties in Missouri adjacent to Kansas City," specified the territory which had been settled upon. Thompson also, in a letter to Hubbard, desired a date to be fixed for the notes and for the commencement of the two years of his exclusive right in the Hubbard books. As to those matters, Hubbard replied that the date of the notes and the commencement of the two years would properly be fixed as of the date of the delivery of the plates. The dispute about the territory to be allowed to Thompson in respect to the Manning book continued, but was finally settled in a correspondence which occurred in April, 1880, and such settlement resulted in the shipment of the plates by Thompson to Hubbard, and in the payment of the consideration therefor,

[ 131 U.S. Page 146]

     by $500 of cash and $3500 in notes, the longest of which ran for two years from the 15th of May, 1880, and all of which were duly paid.

Thompson testifies that he shipped the plates because he and Hubbard had come to an agreement as to territory; and he also sent to Hubbard the bill of sale before set forth as a part of the original bill.

In enclosing to Thompson, on the 1st of June, 1880, the notes amounting to $3500, Hubbard wrote to him as follows: "We enclose herewith notes to the amount of $3500, which, with $500 allowed you on book account, is in full settlement of your bill of May 3d for plates, copyright, original cuts and stamps for binding, of Manning's Illustrated Stock Doctor and Live Stock Encyclopedia. The first lot of plates did not reach us till about the 12th, second lot about the 18th, and third lot is not in yet, so we date notes the 15th, which is sooner than is really due you. Please acknowledge receipt in full and oblige." The notes were all of them dated May 15, 1880, and each of them bore interest at 6 per cent per annum, the three $1000 notes being payable respectively at 8, 12 and 18 months after date, and the $500 note at two years after date. Thompson, in a letter to Hubbard Bros., dated June 4, 1880, acknowledged the receipt of the four notes, and said: "With $500 previously allowed, they are payment in full of plates, engravings, copyright and all the material that enter into the manufacture of the Stock Book. The reservation being that we control certain field, and are to get books at a certain rate above actual cost of manufacture."

The draft of an agreement which Hubbard sent to Thompson in July, 1880, related only to future deliveries of the Manning book, to the territory in which it was to be sold by Thompson, and to the exclusive agency by Thompson for the publications of Hubbard. It did not mention the sale of the plates or the copyright, or the consideration therefor, because that had been settled by the bill of sale and the delivery of the notes; and it fixed the territory in which the ...


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