Corporations: Riches from Royalties

If the conversation had lagged last week at the New York Hilton Hotel, where the Salvation Army in nonsectarian generosity honored Francis Cardinal Spellman, hosts and guests could have turned to a subject of mutual interest: sales of Listerine antiseptic. Listerine at a religious convocation? Why not—since, under terms of an old and apparently inviolable legal document, Warner-Lambert Pharmaceutical Co. must still make royalty payments on Listerine to the heirs, executors or assignees of its originator. The assignees include the Salvation Army, and until recently counted the aging cardinal as a...

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