With the twentieth century marching on and technology becoming ever more ubiquitous for consumers and businesses, it’s not surprising that well-funded and lengthy litigation battles arose. In the third installment of our Famous Patent War series (Part One: 1850-1900 and Part Two: 1900-1950), we look at three notable disputes related to the invention or evolution of industrial lasers, instant photography and disposable diapers.
Continuing our analysis of famous patent wars, we look at the first half of the 20th-century. (We covered three of the most important patent wars between 1850 and 1900 in Part One).
“Regardless of the outcome such a patent war would be cripplingly expensive. Both sides risk wasting immense amounts of money and time while their competition invests in innovation and marketing. To avoid this outcome, large companies obtain as many patents as possible as a deterrent against other companies filing patent litigation. From the perspectives of tech companies, a patent war is like a nuclear war; the only winning move is not to play.”
Source: The Patent Wars
Patent wars have been part of the intellectual property landscape since the middle of the 19th-century and the frenetic innovation of the early days of the industrial revolution. Many of modern history’s most famous inventors were central figures, and their fortunes based on fortuitous legal decisions that concurred with their oral arguments and written claims.