Imagine If This Patent Had Been Allowed To Stand...

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honeywell_v._Sperry_Rand>:

    Because it was ostensibly the patent on the premiere electronic digital
    computer, Sperry Rand held that this patent entitled them to collect
    royalties on the sales of all electronic digital computers in what was
    by the late 1960s a rapidly expanding data processing industry,
    including Honeywell, Control Data, Burroughs, RCA, National Cash
    Register, General Electric, and Philco-Ford, and peripheral equipment
    manufacturers. (Illinois Scientific Developments demanded royalties of
    $250 million from Honeywell initially, a figure was lowered to $20
    million prior to the start of litigation, and $150 million altogether
    from the other listed firms.)

    That’s hundreds of millions in 1960s dollars. Big bucks, indeed.

    Imagine what a drag on the whole industry it would have been, if this patent
    had been allowed to stand. It took a six-year court case to knock it off,
    but in the meantime IBM made a special deal to cement their dominance of the
    mainframe computing business.
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Apr 8, 2010
    #1
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