Volume 11 of the Federal Circuit
Historical Society Journal
Volume 11, 2017
Though humans dreamt of long-distance air travel for ages, it was the work of two ingenious turn-of-the-20th century American brothers that initiated the modern era of aviation. Dr. Tom Crouch, Smithsonian curator and expert on the history of flight, tells the story of one of teh world's most famous inventions, how Wilbur and Orville Wright developed their successful flying machines, and the patent battles that shaped the history of aviation.
A less familiar name is Gordon Gould. He, too, had to fight long battles over the right to patents - in his case, on the laser, another vital 20th century discover. Though physicist Charles Townes is typically credited witht he laser's invention, and won the Nobel Prize for it, author Nick Taylor recounts Gould's claim and eventual success and recognition.
While the inventions of the airplane and laser form part of teh legacy of the patent jurisdiction of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, they also factor into the commercial history of the United States, anotehr aspect of the work of the Federal Circuit and its predecessor courts.
This issue of the Journal concludes with attorney and Adjunct Law Professor Patrick Reed's study of the origins of judicial review of tariff decisions by the Board of General Appraisers, which evolved into the Customs Court, now the U.S. Court of International Trade. The article brings to life the historical Board of General Appraisers, created in 1890 to deal with the economic issues and to provide an administrative process that continues to operate.
As always, we hope readers will find the articles interesting, informative, and entertaining.