Thursday, February 05, 2015

1950 "Lone Ranger" episode offers teachable moment as to patent reform 2015

In the 1950 episode titled "Damsels in Distress," inventor Sam Dexter illustrates a new rifle to one Baron Paul Von Baden. During the demonstration, Sam acknowledges he has not yet filed a patent application. The Baron wants the rifle, but Sam does not want to sell his idea to a foreigner. Sam walks away and literally gets a knife in the back.

The Baron leaves Sam for dead and goes after the schematic drawing of the rifle at Sam's house.

The Lone Ranger and Tonto find the knifed inventor. They determine that the Baron is likely a sought-after foreign agent (stealing IP from a young United States?). In the end, the Baron is thwarted and the invention is saved for patenting.

So, in 1950, the Lone Ranger teaches us of the dangers an inventor faces when not protected by a filed patent application. And of foreign agents trying to steal US ideas.

The Baron is played by John Banner, later Sergeant Schultz in Hogan's Heroes.  Gloria Winters, later Penny in Sky King, also appears.

The Baron delivers a line appropriate for Teva v. Sandoz:  "I'm not concerned with ifs but with facts".

Separately, as to patents and rifles:

A point in 88 JPTOS 1068 (2006) was about innovation. The Spencer rifle was PROVED a superior weapon both at East Cavalry Field and at Selma, Alabama during Wilson's raid. Yet, the U.S. Army did not adopt the superior weapon. 


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