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Page:Harvard Law Review Volume 2.djvu/407

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RECENT CASES, 389

of a contract relation: first, that under the anthority of Heaven v. Pender ^ 11 Q. B. D. 503, and George v. Skivington^ L. R. ^ Ex. i, the defendants having knowingly put themselves in the position of furnishing the plaintiff a document, called a valuation, upon the basis of which he was to act, incurred, in point of law, a duty towards him to use reasonable care in its preparation, and were liable to him for negligence in the performance of this duty; and, secondly, that, on the authority of Peek v. Derry^ 37 Ch. D. 541 (digested 2 Harv. L. Rev. 189), when a man makes an untrue statement to another, with an ^intention that it shall be acted upon, and without reasonable grounds for believing it to be true, he is Uable in damages, in an action for deceit, to the person acting on his state- mcnt. Cann v. WiUson^ 39 Ch. D. 39; s. c. 59 L. T. Rep. N. s. 723 (Eng.).

For discussion of this case see note supra, in present number of the Review.

Novation. — The assent of the creditor is a necessary element in the substitu. tion of a new for an old debtor. To constitute such a novation there must be a mutual agreement between all three parties, whereby at the same time the old debt is extinguished and the new debt is created. Cornwell v. Megins, 40 N. W. Rep. 610 (Minn.).

Partnership — Infant Partner. — Firm property may be held for the debts of a firm although one of the partners is an infant; but the infant may repudiate all personal Uability on the firm debts. Pelletierw, Conture, 19 N. E. Rep. 400 (Mass.).

This decision seems to recognize that, so far as responsibility for debts is con- cerned, the firm is an entity distinct from the individual partners, who may or may not have the capacity to incur personal liability.

Patents for Inventions — Duration — Prior Foreign Patents. — U. S. Rev. St., § 4887, provides that every patent for an invention previously patented in a foreign country "shall expire at the same time with the foreign patent, and shall not remain in force more than seventeen years. Act Canada, 1872, permits the holder of a five-year patent to obtain, as a matter of right, on pay. ment of a fee, two subsequent extensions, of five years each. A Canadian patent for five years having been granted on an invention, a United States patent was granted on the same invention for seventeen years. The Canadian patent was subsequently renewed for the two additional terms of five years. //eld, the fifteen-years term of the Canadian patent having been continuous^ that the United States letters-patent continued valid during its entire duration, and expired at the end of the fifteen years.

Blatchford, J. : Although ** the United States patent may on its face run for seventeen years from its date, it is to be so limited by the courts, as a matter to be adjudicated on evidence in pais^ as to expire at the same time with the foreign patent, not running in any case more than seventeen years; but, subject to the latter limitation, it is to be in force as long as the foreign patent is in force." Bate /Refrigerating Co, v. Hammond Co., 9 Sup. Ct. Rep. 225.

This decision overrules various Circuit Court cases cited in the opinion.

Quasi Contract — Money Paid under Mistake of Fact — Statute of Limitations — Demand. — When a bank, upon which a check is drawn payable to a particular person, pays the amount of the check to one presenting it with a forged indorsement of the payee's name, both parties supposing the indorsement to be genuine, the right of action of the bank to recover back the money from the person so obtaining it, accrues immediately upon pa3rment of the money, without a demand for its repayment, and is barred within six years from that date by a statute limiting actions on contracts and obligations, express or implied. L^at/ur Manufacturers* Ntl, Bank v. Merchant!^ Bank, 9 Sup. Ct. Rep. 3.

For the contrary view, that where money has been paid under a mutual mis- take of fact, no right of action accrues until a demand has been made for its repayment, see, in addition to the cases discussed in the above opinion, the case of Freeman v. Jeffries, L. R. 4 Ex. 189; s. c. i Keener's Cases on Quasi Contracts, 416; also Prof. Keener 's article on " Recovery of Money Paid under Mistake of Fact," i Harv. L. Rev. at p. 218.

Real Property — Rule against Perpetuities — Evidence that Woman IS Past Childbearing. — Where, in a wiU, a gift to the testator's great-grand- children is, on its face, void for remoteness, evidence is not admissible to show that at the time of the testator's death his daughter was over sixty years of age, and past the age of childbearing, so that the gifts to her great-grandchildren must, as a matter of fact, vest within the time required by the Rule against Perpetuities. Pe Dawson; Johnston v. Hill, 59 L. T. Rep. N. s. 725 (Eng.).