Capping Patents

We’re going to cap off our recent string of patent related articles with this charm from the folks at Right-to-Create. Here they discuss how patents played a role in the development of early aeronautics and how the entire thing was put to rest by the government during the first World War because of national security concerts. While the discussion about the NTP patent on technology used in the Blackberry is somewhat moot now that those two parties have settled this article still provides some interesting insight.

The Wright brothers won every patent case they fought, and it did them absolutely no good. The prospect of a fortune wasn’t what motivated them to build an airplane, but ironically enough they could have made a fortune had they just passed on the litigation.

In the end the Wright Brothers spent so much time in court that the advances they had made in flight technology were soon surpassed by their contemporaries. Certainly a painful lesson to learn.

Note that this article doesn’t get into the controversy surrounding who really made the first heavier than air flight. More on that can be found in this Wikipedia entry

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