Patent battles

Maybe the battle between Bell and Grey for patent on the telephone could be considered unimportant and boring. Why is it important and who cares which one gets credit. It is always interesting to see how many people can be working on the same idea and it always seems to come down to a matter of hours or minutes as to who filed the patent. Like the telephone, the same battle with patent rights plagued Tesla.

Tesla and Marconi fought for the right to be called the inventor of radio, it was not until after the death of both men the government reversed its decision and granted Tesla the patent for wireless radio communication. Tesla was not concerned about patent rights, he could have been a rich man with the development of AC current, backed by Westinghouse AC became the predominant form of transmitting electric over long distances; however Tesla sold his rights and his large amount of stock to save Westinghouse from going bankrupt. Tesla died broke. By selling his rights Tesla allowed for the further development of wireless communication which developed competition.

Patents can be called both a blessing and a curse, yes they suppress competition and allow for price fixing; however they do not stop people from improving those inventions. Still I do not believe the patent system works the way it should.

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