No. 56.

395 U.S. 653 (1969)


Supreme Court of United States.

Decided June 16, 1969.

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

C. Russell Hale argued the cause for petitioner. With him on the briefs were Edwin L. Hartz, Thomas G. Corcoran, and Allen E. Throop.

Peter R. Cohen argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief was Allen E. Susman.

Lawrence G. Wallace argued the cause for the United States as amicus curiae urging reversal. With him on the brief were Solicitor General Griswold, Assistant Attorney General Zimmerman, and Howard E. Shapiro.

MR. JUSTICE HARLAN delivered the opinion of the Court.

In January of 1952, John Adkins, an inventor and mechanical engineer, was hired by Lear, Incorporated, for the purpose of solving a vexing problem the company had encountered in its efforts to develop a gyroscope which would meet the increasingly demanding requirements of the aviation industry. The gyroscope is an essential component of the navigational system in all aircraft, enabling the pilot to learn the direction...

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