MR. JUSTICE HOLMES delivered the opinion of the court.
This is a bill in equity brought by the appellants, alleging that Healy is the owner of patents for improvements in boxes and machines for making boxes, and that the Healy Box Corporation is the grantee of the exclusive right to make and use the machines and to make, use and sell the boxes containing the patented improvements. The bill next alleges that the defendant is infringing the patents and will continue to do so unless restrained. Then, anticipating a defence, it sets forth a license to the defendant, a breach of its conditions and a termination of
It may be that the reasoning of The Fair v. Kohler Die & Specialty Co., 228 U.S. 22, is more consistent with that of Mr. Justice Bradley's dissent in Hartell v. Tilghman, 99 U.S. 547, 556 (a decision since explained and limited, White v. Rankin, 144 U.S. 628), than with that of the majority, but it is the deliberate judgment of the court and governs this case. As stated there, the plaintiff is absolute master of what jurisdiction he will appeal to; and if he goes to the District Court for infringement of a patent, unless the claim is frivolous or a pretence, the District Court will have jurisdiction on that ground, even though the course of the subsequent pleadings reveals other more serious disputes. Excelsior Wooden Pipe Co. v. Pacific Bridge Co., 185 U.S. 282. Jurisdiction generally depends upon the case made and relief demanded by the plaintiff, and as it cannot be helped, so it cannot be defeated by the replication to an actual or anticipated defence contained in what used to be the charging part of the bill. For the same reason it does not matter whether the validity of the patent is admitted or denied.
As appears from the statement of it, the plaintiffs' case arose under the patent law. It was not affected by