From our private database of 34,000+ case briefs...
Lear, Inc. v. Adkins
United States Supreme Court
395 U.S. 653, 162 U.S.P.Q. (BNA) 1 (1969)
Lear, Inc. (defendant) hired John Adkins (plaintiff) to develop an improved airplane gyroscope. The agreement provided that Adkins would to grant Lear a license to any inventions or developments in return for agreed-upon royalties. Adkins developed an improved gyroscope that Lear incorporated into its products. In 1954, Adkins filed a patent application for the gyroscope and began licensing negotiations with Lear. In 1955, Lear and Adkins entered a licensing agreement whereby Lear agreed to pay Adkins royalties for the right to manufacture the Adkins gyroscope. The licensing agreement further provided that if no patent was granted, or if the issued patent was later held invalid, Lear would have the right to terminate the agreement and cease payments. The Patent Office rejected Adkins’s initial application, as well as two subsequent amendments. Lear believed that Adkins would not successfully obtain the patent and ceased paying royalty payments. The Patent Office eventually granted Adkins’ patent in 1960. Adkins sued Lear to enforce the licensing agreement. The jury returned a verdict in Adkins’s favor, and the trial judge granted Lear’s motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. On appeal, the appeals court concluded that Lear had the right to terminate payments under the licensing agreement. The Supreme Court of California reversed, and the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Harlan, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 607,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 607,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 34,000 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.