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Is Microsoft running out of steam?

“Most people have heard about the 18th-century inventor James
Watt and his steam engine; not so many know about the way he used
patents to stifle competition and throttle further development of
the technology:

“Watt’s patent was very broad in scope (covering all engines
making use of the separate condenser and all engines using steam as
a “working substance”). In other words, the patent had a very large
blocking power. The enforcement of almost absolute control on the
evolution of steam technology, using the wide scope of the patent,
became a crucial component of Boulton and Watt’s business
strategy.

“Eventually, after extensions gained through constant lobbying
of politicians (some things never change), Watt’s patent expired.
Here’s what happened next:”


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