Anderson's Black Rock, Inc. v. Pavement Co.Annotate this Case
396 U.S. 57 (1969)
U.S. Supreme Court
Anderson's Black Rock, Inc. v. Pavement Co., 396 U.S. 57 (1969)
Anderson's Black Rock, Inc. v. Pavement Salvage Co., Inc.
Argued November 10, 1969
Decided December 8, 1969
396 U.S. 57
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
Respondent brought this action for infringement of a patent for "Means for Treating Bituminous Pavement." The patent ought to solve the problem of a cold joint on "blacktop" paving by combining known elements, a radiant-heat burner, a spreader, and a tamper and screed, on one chassis. The District Court, finding that all the inventor had done was to construct known elements in the prior art on a single chassis, held the patent invalid. The Court of Appeals reversed.
Held: While the combination of old elements performed a useful and commercially successful function, it added nothing to the nature and quality of he previously patented radiant burner, and, to those killed in the art, the use of the old elements in combination was not all invention under the standard of 35 U.S.C. § 103. Pp. 396 U. S. 59-63.
404 F.2d 450, reversed.
MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS delivered the opinion of the Court.
Respondent brought this action against petitioner for infringement of United States Patent No. 3,055,280 covering "Means for Treating Bituminous Pavement." The patent was assigned to respondent by one Neville.
Bituminous concrete -- commonly called asphalt or "blacktop" -- is often laid in strips. The first strip laid usually has cooled by the time the adjoining strip is to be laid, creating what is known as a cold joint.
Because bituminous concrete is pliable and capable of being shaped only at temperatures of 250