[D8846ABM], Letter from Edwin M Fox to Thomas Alva Edison, August 30th, 1888


View document with UniversalViewer   → View document on Archive.org  → Re-use this digital object via a IIIF manifest


[D8846ABM], Letter from Edwin M Fox to Thomas Alva Edison, August 30th, 1888

Editor's Notes

Referring to our conversation of yesterday Re attacking the infringers upon your patents on collateral issues, permit me to say that you have the correct idea for obtaining successful results. Litigation is like warfare. If the enemy are apprised of the fact that a decisive battle will be fought at a known point and a time they are enabled to mass all their strength and repel the attack but for a rally in the rear or a sudden plunge upon a point deemed secure or unimportant they are unprepared. Small things often carry the day. A well planned skirmish line may be of greater importance in the outcome than the single battle fought for the mastery of a principal point. [follows with examples from his own cases] without knowing the facts concerning your patents which are being infringed, I of course cannot intelligently outline what my course would be to strike the infringers at unexpected points and in unexpected jurisdictions and so worry, harrass, annoy, fret and nag them that life will become a burden. Let me take one or two comparatively unimportant patents which they are infringing. The had had immunity so long on the same that they will be off their guard, for all their strength is centred in the main ligtigations now pending. I four victory be ever so slight I would cause it to be heralded far and wide in the press and my newspaper connections and experience would stand me in good service in this particular.##Should you and your associates do me the honor to retain me in the premises I will do all in my power to achieve for you satisfactory results and while I can make no promises I will guarantee that once I start in whenever the infringers hear the name of Edison they will become very weary.##Concerning compensation I would simply say that I should allow the character of the work I do as it appears to you to determine the monetary value and if in your judgment no beneficial results are attained then my fees would be nothing. All necessary disbursements and expenses would of course be defrayed by you.##I desire it distinctly understood as a matter of professional ethics that should I accept your retainer I do not desire to interfere in any wise with your present Attorney Mr Tomlinson. For the line of campaign which I would adopt in the particular matters entrusted to me I would be solely responsibel and further I should deisre to be entirely unhampered. Of course I would make no radical move without first submitting to you in writing my reasons for the same and obtaining your approval.##I hold myself in readiness to personally confer with you and your associates at Orange at any time and more fully discuss the matter. Very Truly Yours Edwin M. Fox##PS. I find by reference to my diary that I am to be in Court next Monday and Tuesday, so please make the appointment either before or after those dates, if you desire to see me. E.M.F.





Folder/Volume ID


Microfilm ID


Document ID



Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University
Download CSV | JSON