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The book The Dream Machine [1] touches on the controversy and patent litigation around the "von Neumann" machine.

IIRC a colleague of von Neumann circulated a technical report by him, where he was summarizing the work of others along with his own, with regard to the stored program architecture. But his name was the only one on it, and the inventors of other machines got pissed off.

There was a rush to patent the idea, and patent litigation. But the idea was never patented, I think because of prior art.

It's interesting to think about what would happen if the idea was patented... I mean it is a significant idea and probably deserves a patent under the law. But would that have set computing history back by a decade or two?

The Dream Machine also goes into some other "inside baseball"... e.g. the relationship between Turing and Church, etc.

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Dream-Machine-Licklider-Revolution-Co...

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