15
Sep/02

Books to Read: "Unlocking the Sky"


Unlocking the Sky by Seth Shulman is the story of Glenn Curtiss, aviation pioneer, and his battles with the Wright Brothers.  The Wright Brothers had received a broad patent on wing stabilization for which they sought such a broad scope of protection that it was said if you jumped and flapped your arms, you infringed their patent.  This narrative does not portray the Wright Brothers in quite the same light as this history on the Curtiss Wright homepage (yes, the dispute was ultimately resolved by settlement).  Not to put too fine a point on it, the story about invention and the monetization of invention strikes home.

 Although the firm which drafted the original patent is not identified in the book, the patent firm of Fish and Neave takes credit for representing the Wright Brothers, to the extent that the Kitty Hawk plane is in Fish and Neave’s logo.

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