Thomas Gibbons and his partner Aaron Ogden (Former Governor of New Jersey) bought the rights to use steamboats as transportation on waterways on the Hudson River via obtaining this from the beneficiary of the Livingston-Fulton Monopoly on steamboat travel.
Gibbons and Ogden decided that their agreement no longer worked and split into different companies. They both believed that they had the original rights to the license. However Ogden believed that he alone had the rights, so he took Gibbons to court.
Gibbons believed that he had the right to operate his business due to the Coasting Act of 1793 and that he still had the right to his license.
Ogden argued that his steamboats were not a part of the commerce clause which meant that they qualified as a navigational item, not an item fro commerce.
John Marshall and the Supreme Court decided in favor a Gibbons saying that there is no statement in the constitution that makes navigational vehicles a part of commerce.