Suppressed inventions

Crosby_M (
Tue, 29 Apr 1997 14:53:54 -0400

Carl Feynman wrote:
<However, there is another way to suppress an invention: licence the
patent, and then don't manufacture it. This is entirely legal, though
people don't tend to talk about it, as it is anti-social. Does anyone
know of a time when this has definitely happened?>

There was an front-page article in the Wall Street Journal, either
this month or last, about a man who has made millions doing just what
you describe. It discussed many of his tricks, such as scouring
scientific journals for info and then patenting something vague or
general related to a technology that looks promising. Precisely
because his patents are so vague, they lurk, semi-approved, in the
system for years. Of course, he never bothers develop the invention,
but waits until some other company does and then his lawyers pounce
with claims of patent infringement. As I said, he has gotten quite
rich playing this game!

Mark Crosby