Saturday, June 02, 2012

"Edison as a patent troll"

In the year 2006, LBE published an article on eZine titled Edison as a Patent Troll, or Where is California Going in Stem Cell Research? . Text within the article suggested Edison was not a patent troll, but separately might not be deemed the inventor of the electric light bulb: Of various suggestions that Edison was troll-like in his behavior in not making product, one observes that Edison himself obtained the funds from investors to set up the first electric power plant, and then created the power plant. He made product. Whether he was actually the inventor of the light bulb is a different story.

A March 20,2012 post titled Hidden Inflection Points includes the text

I love the story of the light bulb. We often credit Edison for its invention, but few know that his famous practical, inexpensive incandescent bulb was essentially an iteration of another light bulb invented a year earlier by a British scientist by the name of Joseph Swan. And even fewer people may realize that by the time Edison “invented” them in the late 1870s, electrically powered light bulbs had been in slow, steady development for decades.

**Of course, the earlier light bulbs that were "in development" did not last too long. And, even Edison's US Patent No. No. 223,898, granted January 27, 1880, did not disclose the use of bamboo as filament material.

**Moreover, by the time of the Chicago World's Fair in 1893, the tide had turned against Edison, and there were no Edison light bulbs at the fair. Wikipedia notes:

Tesla's high-frequency high-voltage lighting produced more efficient light with less heat. A two-phase induction motor was driven by current from the main generators to power the system. Edison tried to prevent the use of his light bulbs in Tesla's works. General Electric banned the use of Edison's lamps in Westinghouse's plan in retaliation for losing the bid. Westinghouse's company quickly designed a double-stopper lightbulb (sidestepping Edison's patents) and was able to light the fair. The Westinghouse lightbulb was invented by Reginald Fessenden, later to be the first person to transmit voice by radio. Fessenden replaced Edison's delicate platinum lead-in wires with an iron-nickel alloy, thus greatly reducing the cost and increasing the life of the lamp.[16]

Of interest, Fessenden had worked for Edison PRIOR to working with Westinghouse (while Fessenden was at Purdue University). Wikipedia notes: In late 1886, Fessenden began working directly for Thomas Edison at the inventor's new laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey. A broad range of projects included work in solving problems in chemistry, metallurgy, and electricity. However, in 1890, facing financial problems, Edison was forced to lay off most of the laboratory employees, including Fessenden. [Of a separate Edison/Fessenden anecdote: in his first application [for a job to Edison] Fessenden wrote, "Do not know anything about electricity, but can learn pretty quick," to which Edison replied, "Have enough men now who do not know about electricity." ]

**Of a different patent issue, wikipedia notes In 1900 Fessenden left the University of Pittsburgh to work for the United States Weather Bureau, with the objective of proving the practicality of using a network of coastal radio stations to transmit weather information, thus avoiding the need to use the existing telegraph lines. The contract gave the Weather Bureau access to any devices Fessenden invented, but he would retain ownership of his inventions.

**As to LBE's initial article on "Edison as patent troll," several uncredited copies have appeared on the internet. For example

Edison as a Patent Troll, or Where is California Moving into Stem Cell Research? [2011]

Edison As A Patent Troll, Or The Place Is California Stepping Into Stem Cell Analysis?

On stupidities in copying,

from IPBiz
Searching the web for copied articles

"This blatant rip-off is unacceptable, even for a blogger.", which included the following advice to would-be plagiarists from fark:

Helpful hint: when plagiarizing an article just go ahead and skip the last paragraph if it is a bio of the real author



Post a Comment

<< Home