TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: AT&T Licensed the Transistor For Free

Re: AT&T Licensed the Transistor For Free

Wed, 18 May 2005 14:20:48 -0700

In article <>,
The Kaminsky Family <> wrote:

> wrote:

>> I presume other Bell Labs patents were also available free;
>> indeed, I never knew of AT&T making money from licensing
>> its many inventions. It appears patents were more for
>> freedom of use than profit. IBM adopted a similar policy
>> in the 1950s. Both did so from anti-trust settlements.

> Don't I wish that were true! A company I once worked for got
> sued by AT&T for patent infringement, and spent a considerable
> effort in proving that we were not infringing. They came back
> with something to the effect that, "You don't get it. Here are
> fifty more patents you are infringing on. We have thousands more
> once you prove that you're not infringing on these. Just give up
> and pay us!"

> I don't know the whole story -- I was not working there at the
> time -- but as I understand it, the settlement was a yearly fee
> in a rather significant amount (for a small company).

> Mark

Folks at may find this post interesting.

U.S. Constitution, Article. I. Section. 8. (1): " . . . promote the
Progress of Science and useful Arts" -- how all those legal complexities
in the patent system and all those all-too-easily obtained trivial
patents are _really_ employed in practice?

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