Not All Companies Are Invention Thieves

Grove Crane Engineering


by George Morgan

We seem to be pounding big companies on occasion.

I'd like to give an instance of an interference between in a David vs. Goliath where Goliath, the first to file, backed off. I was with Auto Specialties Mfg. Co, St. Joseph, Michigan at the time, in the l979's early '80's. We had developed a service brake option on the fail safe brake.

At our request, our distributor showed our drawing of it to Grove Crane Engineering. They liked it, and wanted one immediately. The buyer harranged me for two ar three hours on the subject, but we couldn't deliever it immediately. Later, when we filed our invention, it turns out that we had an interference with Grove who had filed first, and had taken one of our standard brakes and added the service brake option in their shops, so they had reduced it to practise first. They definitely had the edge. Fortunately, the distributor had good records of when he had showed it to Grove engineering.

To the astonishment of our lawyers, once Grove had the facts in hand, they withdrew their application. I thought it was very much to their credit and I always have thought of them as gentlemen ever since.

Grove was the first to actually make the device. We had reduced it to practise by drawing it up first. However, our lawyer at the time was astounded that Grove backed out. Later, their chief engineer on the project, a Jim Jones, now deceased, said that they did not want to be accused of stealing an invention.

George H. Morgan, Professional Engineer, Patent Agent, and inventor.
http://www.evansville.net/biz/patagent/



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©1997. Page last updated 11/21/97.