What is a patent?
A patent refers to a grant or right, which the government gives an inventor of a product or service to exclusively monopolize the exploration of the idea and anyone wishing to use it, must seek consent from the inventor (Takenaka 383-385Takenaka Takenaka Takenaka Takenaka 383-386Bottom of Form
). A product or service is said to be a patent if it is new, it represents an inventive step and if it is invented for industrial application. (Pharmaceutical Salts and Co-Crystals 322-324).
What were Edison’s, most famous patents?
Edison is the brain behind a range of innovations that changed the world in different ways like the tin foil phonograph (Welch 143). Besides this, the world also credits Edison for the discovery and development of incandescent, electric light. As this was not enough, Edison also advanced the world of motion pictures by developing the strip kinetograph. When he was twenty-two years old, Edison beat all the odds to come up with the first ever, electrographic vote recorder, which later enhanced faster voter recording. He also made successful advances in milling, cement, telephone and telegraph (Riper 8-13).
The electric vote-recording machine was Edison’s first “legitimate” invention. Why did it turn out to be a disaster? Discuss how market forces are important for engineering inventors
Notably, Edison developed the vote-recording machine to speed up the tallying process during voting in legislature. However, legislatures vehemently opposed this innovation as they thought it would disrupt the political and overthrow the status quo. For them, a speedy voting and counting system would eliminate delays, which allowed legislatures to influence the opinions their colleagues (Srinivasan 43). In particular, they argued that the innovation would undermine minority voters in the society, hand them to the majority, and shut their hope for a hope (43).
For engineering inventors, marketing forces play an important role as they determine whether the invention will be successful in the market or not. In the event the marketing forces say political forces, support your invention, they are likely to publicize the product persuade the rest of the public to embrace it. In the contrast, the target audience is likely to influence the demand for the product in the market if the inventor involves them in the consumption process. Thus, engineering inventors must consider marketing forces as they have a direct bearing on their success in the market.
Describe the legal struggle Edison had with the filament incandescent light bulb patent
The infringement on patent rights arose since an American electric Lighting Company was manufacturing incandescent lamps, which resembled Edison’s work. This move was clearly against the law. As a result, Edison filed a suit in court, requesting the court to bar General Electric and other companies from making lamps similar to his work. According to the court ruling, the accused parties were to pay royalties to Edison and continue the manufacture of the lamps only with his consent if his patent rights were still applicable by 1897.
Why is it more difficult to publish a patent than a journal? Compare the commercial value of a patent and a top ranked journal paper
Publishing a patent is not an easy process as compared to a journal. This is because of an array of reasons, including the high economic cost one incurs in coming up with a patent than a journal. It is important to note that the pre-publication costs, which may include the legal charge, could surpass the expected returns of the innovation. In addition, for you to publish a patent, you divulge a lot of information to the public. The risk of this is that someone may use your idea to come up with original products. By patenting, you also alert competitors in the market that you are a new entrant on the way. In response, they might consider developing products that resemble your product to counteract your invention. Lastly, a patent will take a longer time before they get to the market for trading as compared to a journal. Generally, a patent will take longer to get to the market than a journal, depending on the time one has to wait between patent application and the time it gets to the market. The size of the innovation and its complexity further determines this duration.
When you compare the commercial value of the two, it is clear that a patent’s value is much higher than a journal’s. The reason behind this is that an inventor is likely to sell of a patent in form of rights. It is also has industrial value attached. On the other hand, respected journals are only costly within a period while they are still relevant. While a patent duration varies, a publisher could sell a journal to a university, which may choose to redistribute it. As this chain of circulating the journal intensifies, it value reduces significantly. For patents, the law offers a firm protection and inventors earn royalties as compensation for the cost of invention.
Describe Edison’s life history and his contribution to engineering innovations
Samuel Edison and Nancy Eliot gave birth to Edison, one of the world’s iconic inventors as a last born in 1847. Nancy was a teacher while Edison’s father tried almost everything. Edison’s family relocated from Michigan when he was seven years old. When Edison joined school, teachers described him a dull student. For this reason, Edison’s parents pulled him from school and tutored him at home. At 12, Edison was already reading Shakespeare and Dickens’ works and the ‘Fall of The Roman Empire’. In 1862, Edison landed a job in Port Huron as a telephone operator. This was to become his genesis in the telephone industry as he moved from city to city searching for operator jobs in his quest to invent. By 1878, a promising Edison made electrical light systems and a phonograph. Edison diversified his inventions and acquired several patents including that for ore milling process for the extraction of minerals. He made great strides in engineering by advancing picture motion. He also discovered the DC and the incandescent light bulb, which remain applicable today.
Discuss the competition Edison faced with the filament incandescent light bulb patent
Despite his numerous achievements as an investor, Edison faced a myriad of challenges from competitors in the market. In the early stages, they did not recognize his patent and went ahead to imitate his light bulbs, leading to low revenues. In addition, other patents existed in the lighting industry with competitors producing a range of massive lamps thus denying Edison monopoly of the industry.
Describe how Edison ran his experimental facilities in the tiny village of Menlo Park
While at Menlo Park, Edison hired men from Europe and America to help him achieve his inventions. Here, he made and tested his ideas at different stages. With several teams at his workshop working for him, Edison achieved much as he worked for long hours, making him an iconic inventor of all times.
Why did Edison’s low voltage DC electric invention ultimately fail?
Edison’s low voltage DC invention did not succeed since it targeted people living near the source. The dynamos produced high power, which could melt copper wires. This created the need for AC as many people were connected from a central source.
Describe why Tesla AC defeated Edison’s DC patented inventions
Edison maintained that his DC invention was superior to Telsa AC. Tesla formed an electric lighting company and came up with numerous patents, which paved way for George Westinghouse. This led to the setting up of a power plant at Niagara Falls, which powered the New York City. Tesla trounced Edison with his AC currents serving people in far places (Angelo 85). It grew into modern day lighting.
Could you see yourself creating a patentable invention?
From the engineering knowledge, exposure and the passion I have, it is possible to develop my patentable invention since there are other areas of power and engineering in which experts are yet to discover inventions.
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Angelo, Joseph A. Robotics: A Reference Guide to the New Technology. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2006. Print.
Elizabeth R and Elizabeth R. C. Cregan. Thomas Edison and the Developers of Electromagnetism. Compass Point Books, 2009. Print.
Department of Chemistry, Durham University. Pharmaceutical Salts and Co-Crystals. S.l.: Royal Society of Chemistry, n.d.. Internet resource.
Riper A. B. A Biographical Encyclopedia of Scientists and Inventors in American Film and TV since 1930. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2011. Print.
Srinivasan, A. (2009). Modern Inventors. Sura Books.
Takenaka, Toshiko. Patent Law: A Handbook of Contemporary Research. Cheltenham, U.K: Edward Elgar, 2008. Internet resource.
Welch, Walter L, and Leah B. S. Burt. From Tinfoil to Stereo: The Acoustic Years of the Recording Industry, 1877 – 1929. Gainesville: u.a.] Univ. Press of Florida, 1995. Print. 143
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