Time for sharp competitive intelligence

In 1895, George Selden obtained a U.S. patent with a claim so broad hat “it literally encompasse[d] most automobiles ever made.”

Yet he basic invention covered by that claim – putting a gasoline engine n a chassis to make a car – was so obvious that many people orldwide thought of it independently as soon as the most primitive asoline engines were developed. The association that licensed the elden patent collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalties  raising costs and reducing the output of automobiles – before enry Ford and others challenged the patent, and the patent claim as judicially narrowed in 1911.


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