Sunday, June 20, 2010

IP themes on "CBS Sunday Morning" on June 20, 2010

The "CBS Sunday Morning" cover story on 20 June 2010 concerned Ken Feinberg, who is now in charge of the $20 billion BP fund for the Gulf oil spill. An overall theme in the story was how Feinberg, a lawyer, evolved from dealing primarily with other lawyers (Agent Orange matter) to dealing with people directly (9/11 matter), which is relevant to patent lawyers who have to deal directly with inventors. The biggest IP theme (of several) on June 20 related to the invention of the zipper [see below]. The most resonant piece on June 20 was "Jan's Story," relating to Alzheimers [see below].

Of the BP matter and Feinberg, he was quoted as saying disbursing money was an honor, not a burden. His "matter of fact" style was noted. Feinberg was stated to be "More than a learned attorney." No politician would ever be trusted with the job given to Feinberg. He started in this area with "Agent Orange", and negotiated a settlement in six weeks. You have to be a better chess player.

Of 9/11 negotiations-- He was hit with: "You have an arrogance about you that is difficult to believe." Congress mandated that earnings of the victims be considered in determining the size of the award. Money is economic value not moral worth. Seven billion dollars was disbursed. One victim could not sign the form because she was so paralyzed with grief.

Next, Feinberg did the Virginia Tech matter. "Nowhere are you assured of being safe."

Next, Geithner went to "the go to guy" Ken Feinberg about the banker's pay following the financial payout.

Feinberg promises Gulf payouts in 30 days, but, concurrently, he is re-examining some claims from 9/11.

The "Sunday Morning Almanac" covered June 20, 1947 was about Las Vegas killing of Bugsy Siegel. Yes the 1991 movie was mentioned. The Flamingo Hotel had cost overrruns which led to the murder. The Flamingo Hotel did succeed.

Feibusch & Son of New York City was featured in a Father's Day themed story. Eddie Feibusch escaped the Nazis and opened his store in 1941. The threat of Velcro was discussed.

"Sunday Morning" gave the date of 1917 as when the zipper was perfected after 70 years of failure.

Wikipedia illustrates the complexity of naming "one date" for the perfection of the invention of the zipper, and alludes to the trademark issues in the name "zipper":

Gideon Sundbäck, a Swedish-born engineer, joined the company, then called the Automatic Hook and Eye Company, in Hoboken, in 1906. At that time the company's product, still based on hooks and eyes, was called the "C-curity Fastener". Sundbäck developed an improved version of the C-curity, called the "Plako", but it too had a strong tendency to pull apart, and wasn't any more successful than the previous versions. Sundbäck finally solved the pulling-apart problem in 1913, with his invention of the first version not based on the hook-and-eye principle, the "Hookless Fastener No. 1".

That version, however, had a tendency to wear out quickly, and again was not a commercial success. Finally, in 1914 Sundbäck developed a version based on interlocking teeth, the "Hookless No. 2", which was the modern metal zipper in all its essentials.

In this fastener each tooth is punched to have a dimple on its bottom and a nib or conical projection on its top. The nib atop one tooth engages in the matching dimple in the bottom of the tooth that follows it on the other side as the two strips of teeth are brought together through the two Y channels of the slider. The teeth are crimped tightly to a strong fabric cord that is the selvage edge of the cloth tape that attaches the zipper to the garment, with the teeth on one side offset by half a tooth's height from those on the other side's tape. They are held so tightly to the cord and tape that once meshed there is not enough play to let them pull apart - - a tooth cannot rise up off the nib below it enough to break free, and its nib on top cannot drop out of the dimple in the tooth above it. The classic zipper was made of a brass alloy, a metal that has low friction and is long-wearing.
Sundbäck's invention of the Hookless No. 2 took place while he was working for the Hookless Fastener Company in Meadville, which had previously been set up to manufacture the Hookless No. 1. Depending on which improvement one wants to consider to constitute the "invention" of the zipper, the zipper was invented either in Meadville, Chicago, or one of the other previously mentioned cities. The B.F. Goodrich Company coined the name Zipper in 1923 for the line of rubber overshoes that it made using the fastener, adopting the term to refer to the speed with which the new overshoes could be fastened or unfastened. The name slowly came to be associated with the fastener itself, and eventually acquired generic status.

Other Father's Day stories included Bill Gates and Ziggy Marley [when Bob Marley died, the family had to "buy back" the rights to Bob's music (copyright issue)]. The IP issues in the Gates' story are legion.

Of the movie feature:
The movie "Psycho" turned 50 this year. There was mention of a "BP feeling" about globs of clutter floating around in your head. Three lesser publicized movies were discussed including "Winters Bone" referenced as the "movie of the year."

Jan Carlton [Petersen], of CNN, ABC, and CBS Sunday Morning, was discussed in the context of Alzheimer's disease. Dr. James Galvin was quoted. Although most victims are in their 70-80's, about 200,000 cases before age 50. There is no known cure and no known cause. There are 5.3 million Alzheimers victims overall. Alheimer's related deaths up 46.1%.. [The correct spelling of Jan's maiden name is Chorlton, so her maiden name was Jan Chorlton.]

Wikipedia notes:

Jan’s Story is a book by Barry Petersen in regards to his wife's battle with the early onset of Alzheimer's disease. The book is to be published in June, 2010.
In this book, CBS News Correspondent Barry Petersen recounts his struggle as he takes on the role of caregiver for his wife, Jan. In 2005, at the age of only 55, Jan was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease, a life-changing moment that led to their utter exhaustion and devastation, as together they fought against the insidious illness.

Jan's Story
Love lost to the long goodbye of Alzheimer's

I feel having read it that I do know Barry better now, and understand better how vulnerable we all are to the most terrible kind of identity theft."
~ Charles Osgood, anchor, CBS News Sunday Morning

**Of comments below, note that it was the commenter who removed the first comment, not IPBiz.

Generally,as to the zipper point, contemplate who finally won the "integrated circuit" interference and why, and whether the reasoning was sound.


Blogger Thermomancer said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Thermomancer said...

Picking a place and date for the invention of the zipper isn't really as hard as you describe. The Hookless #1 was a complete departure from the preceding designs all of which depended on manipulation in the plane of the fastener. #1's deficiencies were obvious almost from the beginning, and I think it has to be considered stillborn. I believe no production machinery was ever developed for it, and only a very few physical examples remain. So the Hookless #2, a design that would be recognizable to anyone today, would be the prime candidate for "Invention." "Where" is only a bit harder. The design was hatched in the fall of 1913, just as the company was moving from Hoboken to Meadville, Pa. The Hookless #2 patent was issued in 1917.

(ref. Robert Friedel, Zipper, an Exploration in Novelty)

(edited comment 2010-06-21)

5:32 AM  

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