" This bond, therefore, if not altogether illegal and punishable, is framed others than individuals specified in the contracts, which are not considered as against public policy, nor in restraint of trade.1 Thus, a demise of a house, with an agreement on the part of the lessee to buy all his beer of the lessor is good.2 So a covenant by the purchasers of land from a brewer that he and his assigns should have the exclusive right of supplying beer to any public-house that might be erected on the premises so bought, is not void as being in restraint of trade.3 So, also, a condition in a deed of composition, that a publican shall continue to deal with his creditors for twelve years in the articles of their respective trades, is valid. So, also, a contract with the proprietors of a theatre not to write dramatical pieces for any other theatre, is legal.4 But in all such cases, the person restricted is only bound to deal with the specified persons so long as they furnish good articles of a marketable and wholesome quality; and if the articles supplied prove to be stale, to enforce at all events a contract by which the obligors agree to carry on their trade, not freely as they ought to do, but in conformity to the will of others; and this, not being for a good consideration, is contrary to the public policy.
"We see no way of avoiding the conclusion that, if a bond of this sort between masters is capable of being enforced at law, an agreement to the same effect amongst workmen must be equally legal and enforceable: and so we shall be giving a legal effect to combinations of workmen for the purpose of raising wages, and make their strikes capable of being enforced at law. We think that the legislature have been contented to make such strikes not punishable: and certainly they never contemplated them as being the subject of enforcement by a suit at law, on the part of the body of delegates, against any workmen who might have been seduced by some designing person to sign an engagement with penalty to continue in the strike as long as a majority were for holding out.
"We think, for these reasons, that the judgment of the Court of Queen's Bench is right, and ought to be affirmed."
1 Cooper v. Twibill, 3 Camp. 286, note; Rannie v. Irvine, 7 Man. & Grang. 969; Jones v. Edney, 3 Camp. 285; Holcombe v. Hewson, 2 Camp. 391; Doe v. Reid, 10 B. & C. 849; Gale v. Reed, 8 East, 80; Morris v. Colman, 18 Ves. 437; Weaver v. Sessions, 6 Taunt. 154.
2 Cooper v. Twibill, 3 Camp. 286, n.; Jones v. Edney, 3 Camp. 285; Holcombe v. Hewson, 2 Camp. 391.
3 Catt v. Tourle, Law R. 4 Ch. 654 (1869), commenting on Hills t?. Croll, 2 Phillips, 60.
4 Morris v. Colman, 18 Ves. 437.
unwholesome, or bad, the restriction is not binding.1 Thus, where a house was leased on condition that the lessee should purchase his beer from the lessor, and the former was sued for breach of condition, and it appeared that he had purchased of other persons than the lessor, but that the beer supplied by the lessor had been bad, nauseous, and unwholesome, it was held that the lessee was not, under such circumstances, bound to conform to the condition.2
§ 686. Patented inventions, and secrets of art or trade, not patented, are not within the purview of the rule against restraint of trade; and a trader may sell a secret in his art, and restrain himself generally from the use of it. These exceptions are allowed for the purpose of stimulating inventive genius, and of encouraging science and well-directed ingenuity. An agreement in relation to the disposition and use of patented machines, although it be in restraint of trade, will be binding, if made within the time to which such patent-right is limited.3 So, a covenant by the patentee of a process for manufacturing articles to be used in a business not local in its character, as a part of his sale of such patent, to do no act to injure the buyer or the business, and "at no time to aid, assist, or encourage in any manner any competition against the same," is not necessarily void as in restraint of trade.4
1 Holcombe v. Hewson, 2 Camp. 391; Thornton v. Sherratt, 8 Taunt. 529.
8 Cooper v. Twibill, 3 Camp. 286, note; Holcombe v. Hewson, 2 Camp. 391; Thornton v. Sherratt, 8 Taunt. 529.
3 Bryson v. Whitehead, 1 Sim. & Stu. 74; Vickery v. Welch, 19 Pick. 526.
4 Morse Twist Drill Co. v. Morse, 103 Mass. 73 (1869). In Leather Cloth Co. v. Lorsont, Law R. 9 Eq. 345, a company had been formed for the purpose of working a certain process of manufacture, introduced into Great Britain from America. They purchased the right, with an agreement of the vendors that they would not, directly or indirectly, carry on, nor would they, to the best of their power, allow to be carried on by others, in any part of Europe, any company or manufactory having for its object the manufacture or sale of productions therein manufactured in the business or manufacture of the vendors, and would not communicate to any person or persons the means or processes of such manufacture, so as in any way to interfere with the exclusive enjoyment by the purchasing company of the benefits agreed to be purchased. It was held that the restraint was not in restraint of marriage, and is void, unless it appear that such restraint was prudent and proper under the circumstances.1