Latest Important Cases and so small as only to amount to that incidental restraint of trade which ought not to be held to be within the law. But we think the testimony amply shows that while these roads did a great deal of business for which they did not compete, and the competitive business was a comparatively small part of the sum total of all traffic, state and inter-state, carried over them, nevertheless such competing traffic was large in volume, amount ing to many millions of dollars. "Before the transfer of the stock this traffic was the subject of active competition between these systems, but by reason of the power arising from such transfer, it has since been placed under a common control. It was by no means a negli gible part of a large and valuable part of inter-state commerce which was thus directly affected." Mr. Justice Day delivered the opinion of the Court. Patents. See Monopolies. Street Railways — Electric Trolley Car a "Vehicle." Mass. In a majority opinion handed down Nov. 26, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, in the case of Foster v. Curtis, 99 N. E. 961, held that an electric car is a vehicle in the mean ing "of the law of the road" and the driver of an automobile or other vehicle going in the same direction as a car must turn to the left. Chief Justice Rugg and Justices Loring and Hammond dissented, holding that the electric car is not a vehicle. In this case the plaintiff was struck by the defendant's automobile as he alighted from the rear of a car. Trade Unions. Defamation — Immunity from Actions for Tort — English Trade Disputes Act. England. An interesting decision has been rendered in the House of Lords, to the effect that trade-unions in England are absolutely immune from actions for tort under the Trade Distputes Act of 1906. In Vacher v. London Society of Compositors, the tort complained of lay in the circulation by the defendant society of an alleged libel upon the plaintiffs. The House of Lords declined to fol low several cases which held that a union may be liable for defamation, construing the statute as clearly absolving the unions from civil process. A certain qualification embodied in the statute was held not to affect the express rule of absolute immunity, protecting the trade union against an action in respect of any tortious act, instead of restricting its immunity to tortious acts com mitted in contemplation or furtherance of a trade
dispute. The decision of a majority of the Court of Appeal was thus affirmed. Unfair Competition. Trade Names. U.S. That an injunction will not lie against a cor poration which employs as a trade name a per sonal name which is the same as that used by another business, and the business of which does not come into competition with the other busi ness, was the decision of the United States Cir cuit Court of Appeals for the seventh circuit, in Borden Ice Cream Co. v. Borden's Condensed Milk Co. of New Jersey, decided at Chicago recently (Chicago Legal News, Nov. 23). The Court (Carpenter, D.J.,) said:— "A personal name, such as 'Borden,' is not susceptible of exclusive appropriation, and even its registration in the Patent Office cannot make it a valid trade mark. Howe Scale Co. v. Wycoff, 198 U. S. 134; Elgin NaU. Watch Co. v. Illinois Watch Case Co., 179 U. S. 665; Singer Mfg. Co. v. June Mfg. Co., 163 U. S. 169; Brown Chemical Co. v. Meyer, 139 U. S. 540. "There is no charge made in the bill that the appellants are infringing, or propose to infringe upon any technical trade mark of the appellee, so we may dismiss any claim for relief upon that score. "The only theory upon which the injunction in this case can be sustained is upon that known as unfair competition. Relief against unfair competition is granted solely upon the ground that one who has built up a good will and reputation for his goods or business is entitled to all of the resultant benefits. Good will or business popular ity is property, and like other property will be protected against fraudulent invasion. "The question to be determined in every case of unfair competition is whether or not, as a matter of fact, the name used by the defendant had come previously to indicate and designate the complainant's goods. Or, to put it in another way, whether the defendant, as a matter of fact, is, by his conduct, passing off his goods as the complainant's goods, or his business as the com plainant's business. . . . "The name 'Borden,' until appellants came into the field, never had been associated with com mercial ice cream. By making commercial ice cream the appellants do not come into competi tion with the appellee. In the absence of com petition the old company cannot assert the rights accruing from what has been designated as the secondary meaning of the word 'Borden.' The phrase 'unfair competition' presupposes com petition of some sort. In the absence of competi tion the doctrine cannot be invoked."