Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Patent negotiations in the 1980s

The episode of "Murder, She Wrote" that first aired on 23 Nov. 1986, titled " Magnum on Ice, " was a cross-over involving characters from both Murder and Magnum, PI.

The decade of the 1980's was the greed decade, and the plot line of the episode reflected this, in its handling of patent transfer/licensing.

The character "Joan Fulton" (played by Jessica Walters) had inherited an electronics company (through the death of her husband), the most valuable asset of which was a patent portfolio. A competitor tried to obtain the patents but a deal could not be made. Rather than negotiate further, the competitor contracted a hit man to do in Fulton, figuring he could easily deal with the estate. Fulton became aware of the actions, killed the hit man, and framed Magnum. Later, the competitor was also killed by Fulton, with Magnum being framed again.

The view of patent negotiations in the 1980s was a bit extreme.

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