Friday, June 13, 2008

107-year-old patent lawyer tells how Edison hired patent attorneys

C. Yardley Chittick of Concord, NH, now 107 and the last surviving member of the class of 1918 at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., went to MIT and then became a patent lawyer.

Chittick had a chance for a job with Thomas Edison, noting that Edison gave him a 150-question test before offering him the job. Chittick turned Edison down, and worked in the golf business.

News yahoo noted:

A few years ago, he [Chittick] said he asked for a copy of the test from the Thomas Edison Museum and was shown the original with Edison's handwriting in the margins.

How many patent law jobs these days require an applicant to take a 150-question test? Would Thomas Edison have outsourced patent application drafting to India? One notes that, based on the 1918 graduation date of Chittick, the 150 question test of Edison would have been administered in the 1920's, at a time when Edison had received ample exposure to patents and patent attorneys. His 150 question approach would presumably reflect Edison's best guess on "how to hire" patent attorneys.

[One of Chittick's Andover classmates was Humphrey Bogart: "Somehow or other I didn't like him. He didn't like me," Chittick said. "I polished all the shoes on the floor, but I wouldn't shine Bogie's."]


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