Anderson's Black Rock, Inc. v. Pavement Co. SKH
Supreme Court of the United States
- District Ct says patent invalid, no infringement
- Court of Appeals says no, it is valid, infringement
- Supreme Ct says actually, no, it really is INVALID, no infringement
Petitioner: Anderson's Black Rock
Pavement Salvage says Anderson infringed on its patent
- The District Court rejected respondent's claim of infringement, finding the patent invalid. The Court of Appeals, by a divided vote, reversed. Supreme Court reverse the judgment if the Court of Appeals.
- The placement of a radiant-heat burner upon the side of a standard bituminous paver is the central feature of respondent's patent.
- The burner, by itself, was not patentable. So, does the combination of old elements create a valid patent?
- The combination was reasonably obvious to one with ordinary skill in the art.
- The combination was argued to fill a long-felt want and commercial success, but that "without invention will not make patentability."
- The combination of old elements performed a useful function, but it added nothing to the nature and quality of the radiant-heat burner already patented. Was not a patent due to the "non-obvious" standard.
Topic in question: Means for Treating Bituminous Pavement"
- solve cold joint problem in laying layers of asphalt
- radiant-heat burner for exposed layer, spreader for new layer, tamper for even surface.
- could shape and spread only
- Anderson's just put a radiant-heat burner on one of those
- Pavement Salvage calls infringement
- radiant-heat burner patented in 1905
- burner itself not patentable
- patent sought for placing burner on side of paver
- serves new purpose of PREVENTING COLD JOINT, rather than patching as it had been used
US SC says INVALID patent, no infringement
- each element known in prior art
- so can combo of old elements warrant patent in this case?
Arguments for INVALID:
- not here - just took 4 old things and put them on one chassis
- no new or different function
- good for commercialism, not invention
- not greater than sum of individual effects
- commercial success and filling want don't make patentability WITHOUT INVENTION - need invention!
- while the combination of old elements performed a useful function, it added nothing to the nature and quality of the radiant-heat burner already patented.
- those skilled in the art the use of the old elements in combination was not an invention by the obvious-nonobvious standard
- Need more than just success - need invention