SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Ben Zonneveld

Ben Zonneveld is a Dutch plant scientist and botanist known for his work on the genetics of Tulips and Daffodils, their infrageneric classification. Dr Zonneld received his Ph. D. in mathematical sciences from Leiden in 1972, where he became Professor of Genetics at the Institute of Biology. He carried out botanical expeditions in southern, South Africa and Mexico. After working at the Institute of Molecular Plant Sciences, Clusius laboratory, University of Leiden, before moving to the herbarium at Naturalis, in the same city, he has published in the field of plant genetics. Select publications include: Zonneveld, B. J. M.. "Pine nut syndrome: a simple test for genome size of 12 pine nut–producing trees links the bitter aftertaste to nuts of P. armandii Zucc. Ex Endl". Plant Systematics and Evolution. 297: 201–206. Doi:10.1007/s00606-011-0507-2. Zonneveld, B. J. M.. "The systematic value of nuclear DNA content for all species of Narcissus L.". Plant Systematics and Evolution. 275: 109–132. Doi:10.1007/s00606-008-0015-1.

Veldkamp, J. F.. "The infrageneric nomenclature of Tulipa". Plant Systematics and Evolution. 298: 87–92. Doi:10.1007/s00606-011-0525-0

Wright brothers patent war

The Wright brothers patent war centers on the patent they received for their method of an airplane's flight control. The Wright brothers were two Americans who are credited with inventing and building the world's first flyable airplane and making the first controlled and sustained heavier-than-air human flight on December 17, 1903. In 1906, the Wrights received a patent for their method of flight control which they fiercely defended for years afterward, suing foreign and domestic aviators and companies another U. S. aviation pioneer, Glenn Curtiss, in an attempt to collect licensing fees. After Wilbur Wright had died, Orville Wright had retired in 1916, the patent war continued, expanded, as other manufacturers launched lawsuits of their own—creating a growing crisis in the U. S. aviation industry. The patent war stalled development of the U. S. aviation industry. As a consequence, airplane development in the United States fell so far behind Europe that in World War I American pilots were forced to fly European combat aircraft, instead.

After the war began, the U. S. Government pressured the aviation industry to form an organization to share patents. During their experiments of 1902 the Wrights succeeded in controlling their glider in all three axes of flight: pitch and yaw, their breakthrough discovery was the simultaneous use of yaw control. A forward elevator controlled pitch. In March 1903 they applied for a patent on their method of control; the application, which they wrote themselves, was rejected. In early 1904, they hired Ohio patent attorney Henry Toulmin, on May 22, 1906, they were granted U. S. Patent 821,393, for a "Flying Machine"; the patent's importance lies in its claim of a new and useful method of controlling a flying machine, powered or not. The technique of wing-warping is described, but the patent explicitly states that other methods instead of wing-warping could be used for adjusting the outer portions of a machine's wings to different angles on the right and left sides to achieve lateral roll control; the concept of lateral control was basic to nearly all airplane designs.

Without it they could not be or safely controlled in flight. Letters that Wilbur Wright wrote to Octave Chanute in January 1910 offer a glimpse into the Wrights' feeling about their proprietary work: "It is not disputed that every person, using this system today owes it to us and to us alone; the French aviators admit it." In another letter Wilbur said: "It is our view that morally the world owes its universal use of our system of lateral control to us. It is our opinion that it owes it to us."The broad protection intended by this patent succeeded when the Wrights won patent infringement lawsuits against Glenn Curtiss and other early aviators who devised ailerons to emulate lateral control described in the patent and demonstrated by the Wrights in their 1908 public flights. U. S. courts decided that ailerons were covered by the patent. In 1908, the Wrights warned Glenn Curtiss not to infringe their patent by profiting from flying or selling aircraft that used ailerons. Curtiss refused to pay license fees to the Wrights and sold an airplane to the Aeronautic Society of New York in 1909.

The Wrights filed a lawsuit. They sued foreign aviators who flew at U. S. exhibitions, including the leading French aviator Louis Paulhan. The Curtiss people derisively suggested that if someone jumped in the air and waved his arms, the Wrights would sue; the brothers' licensed European companies, which owned foreign patents the Wrights had received, sued manufacturers in their countries. The European lawsuits were only successful. Despite a pro-Wright ruling in France, legal maneuvering dragged on until the patent expired in 1917. A German court ruled the patent not valid due to prior disclosure in speeches by Wilbur Wright in 1901 and Octave Chanute in 1903. In the U. S. the Wrights made an agreement with the Aero Club of America to license airshows which the Club approved, freeing participating pilots from a legal threat. Promoters of approved shows paid fees to the Wrights; the Wright brothers won their initial case against Curtiss in February 1913, but the decision was appealed. The brothers wrote to Samuel F Cody in the UK, making a claim that he had infringed their patents but Cody stated that he had used wing-warping on his man-carrying kites before their flights.

The Wrights' preoccupation with the legal issue hindered their development of new aircraft designs, by 1910 Wright aircraft were inferior to those made by other firms in Europe. Indeed, aviation development in the U. S. was suppressed to such an extent that, when the country entered World War I, no acceptable American-designed aircraft were available, U. S. forces were compelled to use French airplanes. In January 1914, a U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the verdict in favor of the Wrights against the Curtiss company, which continued to avoid penalties through legal tactics. Beginning in 2011, Russell Klingaman—a prominent Wisconsin aviation/patent attorney, aviation law journalist, instructor in Aviation Law at Marquette