American Innovations | Airplane: Wrights and Wrongs | E2

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Glenn Curtiss may have mastered the technical aspects of the airplane, but in September of 1909, Curtiss found himself painfully ill-equipped to handle the latest challenge before him: the Wright brothers were suing him for patent infringement., demanding he stop building, selling, and even flying his planes.

While Curtiss was the main target of the lawsuit, the outcome of the case would affect the industry as a whole. That’s because the question at hand focused on the interpretation and application of patent law. Specifically, could any one man--or in this case, two brothers--legally own the air.

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