The Aerial Age Begins
1902-1907 1908 1909 1910 1910-1914 1932 1948
1910
Many Lawsuits
Many Lawsuits
The Wright brothers’ general airplane patent was granted not only in the United States, but also in France, England, Germany, Russia, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Belgium, and Spain. When other aviators or manufacturers tried to profit from flying exhibitions or the sale of aircraft, the Wrights vigorously invoked their patent and filed many infringement suits at home and abroad.
Glenn Curtiss
Glenn H. Curtiss

 
Typically the individuals and firms brought to court were permitted to continue operations while the cases were processed, which exasperated the Wrights. In the end, nearly all the cases were ruled in the Wrights’ favor. But it mattered little, as all aeronautical patents were pooled with the approval of the government when the United States entered World War I.
 
Glenn Curtiss was the Wrights’ principal target in the American patent infringement suits. Although frustrated by the Wrights’ litigiousness, Curtiss succeeded in becoming the leading aircraft manufacturer in the United States before World War I.
Military Use of the Airplane >>
artifact gallery Reproduction of the medal presented to the Wright brothers by the U.S. Congress
Reproduction of the medal presented to the Wright brothers by the U.S. Congress.
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