Anderson's Black Rock, Inc. v. Pavement Co. (KyleR)

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Overview


  • case decided by U.S. Supreme Court in 1969
  • patent had been granted for "Means for Treating Bituminous Pavement"
    • combines a pavement spreader and shaper with a radiant-heat burner to create a better bond between the old and new layer of pavement
  • inventor sues for infringement when someone places a radiant-heat burner on a standard paving machine
  • District Court: patent is invalid
  • Court of Appeals: patent is valid
  • Supreme Court: patent is invalid

Patent


  • patentability is said to come from combination of heater and standard paving machine
  • radiant-heat burner patented in 1956 by Schwank
  • operation of the heater is not dependent on operation of the paving machine

Nonobviousness


  • combination of heater and paving machine is a convenience; does not produce a "new or different function"; combination NOT greater than the sum of parts
  • filled a long-felt want; commercial success
    • does not prove nonobviousness


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