I Thought We Were All Standing on the Shoulder of Others?
And that there was truly nothing new under the sun.
But This is Nothing New
The Wrights brothers patent war centers on the patent they received for their method of an airplane’s flight control. The Wright brothers were two Americans who are widely credited with inventing and building the world’s first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight on December 17, 1903.
In 1906 the Wrights received a patent for their method of flight control which they fiercely defended for years afterward, suing foreign and domestic aviators and companies, especially another U.S. aviation pioneer, Glenn Curtiss, in an attempt to collect licensing fees. Their legal threats suppressed development of the U.S. aviation industry for several years. Letters that Wilbur Wright wrote to Octave Chanute in January 1910 offer a glimpse into the Wrights’ feeling about their proprietary work: “It is not disputed that every person who is using this system today owes it to us and to us alone. The French aviators freely admit it. In another letter Wilbur said: “It is our view that morally the world owes its almost universal use of our system of lateral control entirely to us. It is also our opinion that legally it owes it to us.”
The patent war stalled the development of the American aviation industry. In response, after the beginning of World War I, the U.S. Government pressured its aviation industry to form an organization that allowed the sharing of aviation patents.
‘This American Life’ tackles patent trolls, lives to broadcast about it http://dlvr.it/cgvcH
From MBA Online…
The Patent War is Stifling Innovation
2011 has been the year that decisively marks the coming-to-light of the stupidity inherent in the way our patent system operates. After an enthralling episode of This American Life cast the spotlight on Intellectual Ventures, Nathan Mhyrvold’s multibillion-dollar, patent-hoarding company, the story spread like wildfire and the larger public suddenly became aware of the vast inequity the dominates the tech world from behind the scenes. Designed to protect inventors and innovators by helping them prevent competitors from stealing their ideas, the patent system has evolved into a weapon wielded by mighty tech companies as a last-ditch effort to keep competitors’ products off the market. Patents are still protection – though now they more resemble Mafia-style, buy-it-or-die protection than anything intended by our government when they instituted it decades ago. As a result, innovation suffers. In the long run, business is sure to suffer too.
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