U.S. v. Adams (KyleR)
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- decided by U.S. Supreme Court in 1966
- companion case to Graham v. John Deere
- Adams is suing U.S. Government for patent infringement
- claim upheld by Trial Commissioner and Court of Claims
- Supreme Court affirmed earlier decision
Description of the Patent
- issued to Adams in 1943
- a non-rechargeable electrical battery using one magnesium and one cuprous chloride electrode that uses water as an electrolyte
- manufactured and distributed in a dry condition and activated by addition of water
- while the claims do not make mention of the battery using a water electrolyte, this can be assumed from the specifications submitted with the patent application.
- Marie Davy cell - was probably capable of working with pure water; does not pursue the idea.
- Wood patent - introduces magnesium as an electrode material; does not make mention of using it with cuprous chloride or a water electrolyte.
- Codd treatise - says magnesium would be a theoretically desirable electrode; does not attempt to implement.
- Wensky patent - introduced cuprous chloride as an electrode; does not use with Mg or water electrolyte.
- Skrivanoff patent - a battery designed to give intermittent service; requires an acidic electrolyte; attempts at implementation were unsuccessful.
- even though elements of Adams' battery may have been known, they were never used in the way Adams used them.
- the Government admits that Adams' battery shows operating advantages over others.
- Adams' invention went against two norms:
- not practical for batteries to operate on an open circuit and heated in use
- water can only be used when combined with other electrolytes that damage magnesium
- experts expressed disbelief at Adams' battery
- experts recognized the significance of the invention
- experts have patented improvements to Adams' battery
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