The Supreme Court: How Bert Beat the Bureaucrats

No one believed Inventor Bert N. Adams in 1939 when he came out of his Queens Village, L.I., kitchen with a battery that seemed to revolutionize the original electrical "pile" devised by Alessandro Volta in 1796. Inventor Adams ultimately won a U.S. patent—and then the U.S. Government itself copied and repatented his battery without paying Adams a dime. Last week the Supreme Court not only agreed that Adams' battery met the U.S. patent test of being new, useful and "nonobvious"; by a vote of 7 to 1, the court also made clear...

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