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SpecialKats: Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo (TechieKat), Hayleigh Bosher (Book Review Editor), and Tian Lu (Asia Correspondent).

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Pride and Priority: the true tale of Handley Page and the slotted wing

Taking a moment off from the immediate issues of intellectual property law, the IPKat is delighted to step back into the realm of history. Here's a masterpiece of genuine historical research into a fascinating UK first-to-invent issue, penned by the IPKat's friend, patent attorney and IP scholar David Musker who writes:

"Sir Frederick Handley Page was a giant in the field of aviation - his company was the first in Britain founded to build aeroplanes, and maintained its independence into the 1970s. His commercial survival rested on one crucial invention, which kept his company afloat - the slotted wing, which made aviation both safer and more efficient and is still in use today. He patented it heavily, and garnered much of the credit. But did he really invent it? 
This paper tells the story of his exploitation strategies, against priority challenges from many others who claimed to have beaten him to the punch, particularly patent agent and aeronauticist Albert Peter Thurston [right], in the pre- and inter-War eras when extremes of bravery and eccentricity were the hallmark of aviation pioneers".

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