Harry Gale Nye Jr. was an American businessman who is primarily remembered for his achievements as a champion yachter. In the legal field, Harry Gale Nye Jr. is primarily remembered as president of the Nye Tool & Machine Works company established by his father. This company was the subject of an important 1923 Supreme Court case, Crown Die & Tool Co. v. Nye Tool & Machine Works. This trial took place before Harry Gale Nye Jr. assumed control of the company.
The case concerned a dispute over the manufacture of a machine which made screw-thread cutting devices. The basis of the lawsuit occurred when Nye Tool alleged that its patent was being infringed upon by Crown Die & Tool Co. and sought to receive both an infringement against Crown Die and damages for lost revenue. In considering the case, the main issue to be resolved by the Supreme Court concerned whether a suit over patent infringement could not be separated from the right to exclude specific parties from manufacture within the patent.
This reasoning meant that the Supreme Court was not concerned with the merits of the case filed by the Nye Tool company owned by the father of Harry Gale Nye Jr. in particular. Rather, the Supreme Court was interested in determining whether an infringement lawsuit could be brought forth by anyone other than an exclusive licensee of a patent without the involvement of the patent owner. The Supreme Court ruled that this was not possible, a verdict which reversed the appeal filed by the Nye Tool company.
As a result, Crown Die & Tool Co. v. Nye Tool & Machine Works became an important case in the history of patent infringement litigation. As a result, the rights of a patent owner to exclude specific manufacturers from making use of their work were affirmed. These issues were resolved by the time that Harry Gale Nye Jr. assumed control of the company.
Under the leadership of Harry Gale Nye Jr., the Nye Tool & Machine Works company experienced financial difficulties due to the Great Depression. However, the company managed to survive. Concurrent with its primary functions, Harry Gale Nye Jr. became interested in manufacturing sails. The company expanded in this direction and continued its activities throughout World War II until canvas became unavailable. This alternate company was sold in the late 1950s. This company subsequently transitioned in manufacturing fashion apparel.
Nye Tool & Machine Works was sold by Harry Gale Nye Jr. to an Indiana company in 1964. However, Harry Gale Nye Jr. remained best known for his many victories as a yachter. Later in his career, he began developing hydrofoil vessels. Harry Gale Nye Jr. passed away in 1987. After his death, the International Star Class Yachting Association named an award in his memory, which is conferred upon those the organization feels have contributed significantly to the development of the sport of yachting.