by Mike Masnick
Fri, Mar 28th 2008 3:31am
Whenever we get deep into a discussion about patents, it doesn't take long before someone tosses up the example of Thomas Edison as someone who proves that patents were necessary for innovation. The problem is that isn't true at all. As we've pointed out a few different times, it's tough to find anything that Edison actually invented. Instead, it's quite easy to find things that others invented that Edison took credit for, patented and then prevented anyone else from competing against him. The latest of his great inventions to fall? Recorded sound. Kevin Donovan points us to a NY Times article highlighting the discovery of a 10-second recording of a song that was made 17 years before Edison got a patent on such a system. While there's no reason to believe Edison copied the idea from this inventor, that doesn't matter to patent system defenders who insist that any infringement is "stealing." So will those patent system defenders now admit that their hero was a thief? If not, they've got some inconsistencies to explain.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- Former US Patent Office Director Freaked Out That Business Methods & Software Are Less Patentable Than Before
- Little Tree Air Freshener Company Sues Non-Profit For Making Tree Shaped Ornaments
- Government Accountability Office Study Confirms: Patent Office Encouraged Examiners To Approve Crappy Patents
- Good To See: Blockstream Promises Not To Abuse Patents
- Stupid Patent of the Month: Solocron Education Trolls With Password Patent