Orville Wright documents to be auctioned
A 1916 patent transfer document for Wright’s invention of the airplane and one in which the inventor defends his reputation will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions in Los Angeles. Bidding for the patent transfer document and letter will begin at $25,000 and $12,500 respectively.
The first document confirms Orville Wright mortgaged five patents to New York investors led by William Boyce Thompson and that he had been paid – thus ensuring any challenges to the patents were relayed to the new owners. The Wright Company had entered into a loan agreement with the Thompson investors in return for $1 million.
A letter Orville Wright sent in 1928 to Connecticut Senator Hiram Bingham will also go on the block. In that typewritten letter, Wright appeared angry with the Smithsonian Institute for discrediting the Wright Brothers as inventors of the first flying machine.
The Smithsonian recognized ex-Smithsonian Secretary Samuel P. Langley as the inventor of the airplane in their 1914 annual report.
''The important point at issue is as to who was the inventor of the first successful flying machine. The Smithsonian for the past seventeen years has kept up constant propaganda to take the credit for this away from my brother and myself,” Wright wrote in the letter. “Such practice as this is beneath the dignity of a scientific institution … I believe there was no one else in the world at that time beside Wilbur and myself that had the scientific data for building a machine that would fly.''
Recall that Wilbur Wright died in 1912. From an IPBiz post titled Patent thickets and the Wright Brothers :
The Wright-Martin Company that bought him [Orville Wright] out, however, was primarily interested in recovering the more than $1,000,000 it had paid for the rights to the patent. In December 1916, the company notified other aircraft manufacturers that they would have to pay a royalty of five percent on each aircraft sold, with a minimum annual royalty of $10,000 per manufacturer. Wright-Martin demanded this royalty on all aircraft, whether they achieved differential lifting by the wing-warping technique of the Wrights or the far more popular ailerons employed by Curtiss.
See also: http://ipbiz.blogspot.com/2007/06/it-is-always-easier-to-deal-with-things.html