When the Malden Mills factory burnt down on December 11, 1995, Feuerstein decided not only to use his insurance money to rebuild it, but to also pay the salaries of all the now-unemployed workers while it was being rebuilt. Feuerstein spent millions keeping all 3,000 employees on the payroll with full benefits for 6 months. By going against common CEO business practices, especially at a time when most companies were downsizing and moving overseas, he achieved a small degree of fame....it appears that applied ethics in business has positive consequences as Malden Mills continues to garner lucrative Department of Defense (DOD) contracts for 'smart' products that interweave fiber optic cabling, electronic biosensors, and USB ports into polar fleece fabric.
"In November 2001, Malden Mills declared bankruptcy after the recession. . . [and] Feuerstein was relieved of actual control of the company by its creditors. . .
In February 2007, the assets of Malden Mills were purchased by a newly formed company . . .
June 28, 2007, the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation said it would take over the underfunded (by 49%) Malden Mills pension plan, which covers about 1500 employees. . . "
While it would cost Aaron Feuerstein $25,000,000 to 'do the right thing' as well as the turmoil of a November 2001 filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, it appears that applied ethics in business has positive consequences as Malden Mills continues to garner lucrative Department of Defense (DOD) contracts for 'smart' products that interweave fiber optic cabling, electronic biosensors, and USB ports into polar fleece fabric. Malden Mills was awarded a $16 million dollar DOD contract in 2006.
Unfortunately, in he is no longer there. Was it a successful experiment? It's hard to say. He really took a beating on the 95 fire. He kept all employees on the payroll through the entire episode, even after getting totally screwed by insurance. He saved Lawrence from an even worse fate then its had. That was probably more import to him then his own success.
The term "prior art" might be US-specific though, other countries' patent law systems have different words for the same thing (wikipedia suggests "background art" and "state of the art").
Not strictly right but close enough, better (but still not the whole story due to US differences) would be "things which have already been made public".
Prior art is the globally recognised term. It means any [relevant] disclosure prior to the priority date of the application in hand.
As an ex-patent examiner (not US) I'd use "background art" to represent the general status of the field (often presented in the preamble of the specification) and "state of the art" is strictly the whole gamut of prior art disclosures.
most jurisdictions have first to file whilst US has a "first to invent" system
Although in the US you could patent the concept of a particular type of clothing being made from polartec, or even a method of selling it.
Maybe some central licensing organization that would license patents for free as long as the licensees agreed to some GNU-like terms... or is this not an issue in patent law?
If he had patented it, would there be the same 'push' for residential plastic recycling? Would we just bury or burn it?
If a man who invents something beneficial ends bankrupt is to be applauded is anything but fair.