[D8238ZEE], Letter from Joshua Franklin Bailey to Thomas Alva Edison, November 10th, 1882


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[D8238ZEE], Letter from Joshua Franklin Bailey to Thomas Alva Edison, November 10th, 1882

Editor's Notes

[7 pages but highly selectable] Tried unsuccessfully to see Siemens at Paris exhibition. See by enclosed report (to be sent later to Eaton) of negotiations with Messr Landau et al that Edison German people wanted to have some agreement with Siemens. Mr. Von Kauffmann of house of Landau called on Siemens and arranged for me to meet him today; have just returned. Opened with formal delcarations of respect, etc. Siemens said he had highest appreciation of your work but some ill feelings personally since at the 1878 Paris exhibit one of your (German) representives said he'd stolen telephone from you. I said you wouldn't approve of this and that your English people had recognized him in regard to dynamo, and that you wanted some arrangement with him about that. Suggested that he should recognize Edison Elight patents in Germany by payment of royalty, that Edison company would license him to mfg, or would sell him lamps; that it was in his interest to combine in support of patents, that in return we would acknowledge his German dynamo patents. Turns out he doesn't have any! So I suggested it's still in his interest to join in support of Edison light patents because if they were void the light would be in public domain. Told him we were about to commence action against infringers and would like to agree with him before any unpleasantness. Siemens said if we did have understanding it should include other countries besides Germany; then suggested arbitration about dynamos in France. He then spoke of interferences and ERwy, of which I have no knowledge but promised to write to you. Charles Siemens was also in the room and proposed making arrangement to trade lamps for other equipment in Russia. Siemens (Werner) said in regard to your dynamo pats in Germany that many US and British agents fail to recognize that German law is very specific requiring only one invention per patent, else patent void. Also "that ifany devoice or manipulation described in the patent could be proved to have been practiced by any person previous to the date of the patent, for infringement of which he was prosecuted, it would be a complete defence" [not of the patent]. Such proof wouldn't have to have been published. He's been in this business 30 years: "You will appreciate the force of this suggestion, as it would probably be quite easy for [him] to produce proof from his own establishment of a good many things." Agreed that Siemens should quickly consider whether to recognize your lamp pats; we to examine French dynamo situation, and I to write you for information regarding arrangement in the US; and all parties to think about Russian arrangement. Werner and Charles both extremely cordial. Mr. Kauffman then settled dispute with W.Siemens about lighting Berlin Royal Opera. Please give me your views of all this. Will write in a few days about formation of German Co.; syndicate exercised its option for the factory.




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Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University
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