prosperity that might not have been

Every day millions of Americans take that all-to-familiar trip to the grocery store. In turn thousands of items await them, lined on long shelves in a neat and orderly fashion. A few employees might be wandering the store, but a few more man the check-out counters. Imagine if “self service” grocery stores never came into existence, or imagine that only Wal-Mart was allowed to and not Target. Employees would stand behind counters and grab products as customers told them which to grab. If a customer wants 100 items, the employee and all other customers would waste incalculable time waiting. Would this be a better world? Surprisingly, this might have been the world in which we live.

Clarence Saunders, the “inventor” of the self service grocery stores filed a patent on the process. But luckily for the modern world, this patent was not enforced by the courts. Saunders filled several lawsuits against competitors, but one competitor (William Bonner McCarty) found a different grocer who was doing “self-service” before Saunders.

Image a world in which McCarthy could not find that pre-existing self-service store, or imagine a world in which that first store filled the patent. Patents destroy innovation and retard the standard of living.

About christopher fisher

The blog is meant for educational/entertainment purposes. All material can be used and reproduced in any length for any purpose as long as I am cited as the source.
This entry was posted in Goverment, Intellectual Property. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s