1/31/11 : US v. Adams (kyergler)

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Notes

- US accused of infringement on Adam's "wet battery" patent, and seeks a review of the Court of Claims judgement.

- Adams filed a patent for a "wet battery", a water-activated, constant potential battery which could be fabricated and stored indefinitely without any fluid in its cells (due to cuprous chloride and magnesium used as electrodes)

- Adams was issued a patent in 1943, approached the Army and Navy to show his invention, to which the Army and Navy declined due to feasibility questions.

- At the height of WWII, Signal Corps concluded its feasibility and used the idea without notifying Adams. Adams filed suit in 1960 after being denied his requested compensation.

Prior Art

- Marie Davy Cell: invented in 1860, battery comprises a zinc anode & a silver chloride cathode. As long as the system is open, the battery does not "work upon itself"

- Wood patent: uses magnesium as the positive electrode. Wood's solution to the problem of corrosion was to use a "neutral electrolyte containing a strong soluble oxidizing agent adapted to reduce the rate of corrosion of the magnesium electrode on open circuit". NO INDICATION of coupling with cuprous chloride, nor water-activated

- Codd treatise: simply lists magnesium in an electromotive series table, and references the cuprous ion.

- Wensky patent: issued in Great Britain in 1891, relates to the use of cuprous chloride as a depolarizing agent, but does not mention magnesium or a water-activated battery

- Skrivanoff patent: designed to give intermittent (not continuous) service. Claims magnesium as an electrode, but no mention of cuprous chloride as a cathode. Plus, tests under the Skrivanoff patent resulted first in fire, next in explosion.

- The Government challenged the validity of Adam's patent on the grounds of lack of novelty, as well as non-obviousness.

- Water-activation sets Adam's patent apart from the prior art.