Thomas Edison vs. the Supremes

(4 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Chief Justice Roberts: You want to patent light, Mr. Edison?  Just because you’re dead and may be speaking to God, it doesn’t give you any right to ask for reconsideration of the Patent Office turning down your patent on the light bulb.  You are now speaking to a much higher authority that works in the dark mostly.

Edison: I don’t want to patent light.  I just want to finally patent my successful invention for creating light and turning night into day.

Chief Justice Roberts:  I know you only had 3 months of schooling and can’t hear well beyond your autism so I will leave the questioning to Justice Scalia.  He speaks loud enough and simple enough to wake the dead.

Justice Scalia:  Though you are a dirty, smelly, mean, hippy recluse, like that Steve Jobs who was fired by the company he founded, I won’t ask you about how you had two wives and numerous children.  It’s too late to protect women from you but I want to know about you going around electrocuting elephants.  

Edison:  I only electrocuted one used elephant to demonstrate one of the problems with Tesla’s AC current.  I fired Tesla and he went bankrupt with his business, you know, but America is still stuck his lethal AC.

Justice Thomas breaks his silence and shouts at Edison:  We are all educated, God-fearing men here and we know Natural Law better than some uneducated inventor.  I should add there are some women here too but we don’t listen to them.  We just look.  Go away.  We have spoken.

Best,  Terry


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  1. terryhallinan

    the initial rejection of Edison’s patent. Edison used the Golden Rule to buy his way out and reportedly got some kind of follow-on patent later.

    Wild celebrations of the Supreme Court’s decision on God’s creations may be premature – especially considering there may be no God.

    Best,  Terry

  2. TMC

    not the light emitting from it. I’m sure if General Electric could get away with it they would patent light and charge us by the lumen to use while getting a government subsidy to out source jobs to China.

  3. terryhallinan

    Edison is the fourth most prolific inventor in history, holding 1,093 US patents in his name…

    But one isn’t the light bulb.

    On October 8, 1883, the US patent office ruled that Edison’s patent was based on the work of William Sawyer and was therefore invalid. Litigation continued for nearly six years, until October 6, 1889, when a judge ruled that Edison’s electric-light improvement claim for “a filament of carbon of high resistance” was valid.[48] To avoid a possible court battle with Joseph Swan, whose British patent had been awarded a year before Edison’s, he and Swan formed a joint company called Ediswan to manufacture and market the invention in Britain.


    I really detest using the old unreliable Wikipedia as a source, particularly when disinformation is rife concerning Edison but my own computer is kaput and this one is – lame.

    I take particular exception to the claim that Edison had one of the so-called autism spectra disorders, Asperger’s syndrome, instead of full blown autism.

    For a very different view, one could read Temple Grandin, another incredible lady – an autistic herself and a retired professor.  Those last two biographic details make her – incredible.  

    But Temple’s “visual learners” include even DaVinci, a true renaissance man with breadth of studies that encompasses the known world – hardly akin to the laser focus of an Albert Einstein or an Edison or Grandin herself, also an accomplished inventor.

    I have mentioned that my parents met a secretary to Edison, who told of his explosive temper tantrums followed by a box of candy or roses on her desk the next morning. Edison was incapable of apologizing and dreaded personal contact.

    So how did Edison have two marriages and numerous children?  You might as well ask how Einstein could be a playboy.

    Some people climb Mt. Everest.  For some very special sorts, that is a trifling accomplishment compared to their feats that exceed human understanding.

    Best,  Terry

  4. TMC

    but the light bulb was an invention, man made, not something created by nature. It’s not like asking for a patent on the elements in the filament.

  5. terryhallinan

    A company with stuff that is painted on surfaces to transmit photons that  may some day completely replace the sluggish electrons is avoiding patents altogether as is Intel, a likely targeted user, in favor of trade secrets with only trademark protection.

    Intel long ago all but declared the patent system broken.

    The increase in speed and density will be staggering and seems very close.

    Unfortunately GIGO [Garbage In, Garbage Out] is still operative.

    Many programmers are paid like fruit pickers on contract to avoid benefits.  One that does that is Christie’s New Jersey.

    One of the kids is doing very well for the time being as a dump picker – trying to find something of value in the mess left by often unskilled workers getting low pay.

    I hope I am still around to hear the like of Thomas and Scalia tell us all about photons.  We all could learn about that mysterious dark matter that makes up the vast majority of the mass of the universe.

    Best,  Terry


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