Attorney(s) appearing for the Case
John G. Roberts, Jr., argued the cause for petitioner. With him on the briefs were Gregory G. Garre and JeanneMarie Marshall.
Deputy Solicitor General Wallace argued the cause for the United States as amicus curiae urging reversal. With him on the brief were Solicitor General Waxman, Assistant Attorney General Ogden, Jeffrey A. Lamken, Anthony J. Steinmeyer, and Mark S. Davies.
John A. Artz argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were John S. Artz, Robert P. Renke, and Lisa A. Sarkisian.*
Kennedy, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.
United States Supreme Court.
Justice Kennedy, delivered the opinion of the Court.
Temporary road signs with warnings like "Road Work Ahead" or "Left Shoulder Closed" must withstand strong gusts of wind. An inventor named Robert Sarkisian obtained two utility patents for a mechanism built upon two springs (the dual-spring design) to keep these and other outdoor signs upright despite adverse wind conditions. The holder of the now-expired Sarkisian patents, respondent Marketing Displays, Inc. (MDI...
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