While at various times the public has heard of this man or that in connection with wireless telegraphy, and while many have claimed credit for alleged discoveries relating to the greatest invention of the age, one man will always stand foremost in the public mind--Marconi. And justly so, for while other scientists were theorizing Marconi set about to commercialize his discoveries. Now that the world has fully awakened to the indispensability of wireless and stringent laws compelling all passenger steamships to install equipment in conformity with international regulations are being enacted by all governments, a glimpse at the recent progress made by the Marconi companies should be interesting to all.
When the American Marconi Company secured the consent of the courts and took over the assets of its only formidable commercial rival in this country, the United Wireless Telegraph Company, not only was the land and marine wireless business of America consolidated but virtual control of the wireless business of the world was obtained as the English Marconi Company had already practically secured control of the business of the rest of the globe.
The extraordinary progress in wireless telegraphy during the past year is set forth in the recently issued annual report of the parent company, the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company, Ltd., of England. The increase in the net earnings of the English Company were more than 120 per cent. over the previous year; plans not matured should result in a still greater increase next year. Foremost among the late developments is the agreement for the immediate erection of stations for the British Imperial wireless system to girdle the globe. Construction of high-power stations in England and Egypt, and at Aden, Bangalore, Pretoria and Singapore will commence immediately.
The terms of the agreement provide that the stations shall be operated by the company on account of the Government for the first six months, and thereafter by the Government. The company will receive $300,000 for each station, exclusive of the sites, foundations and buildings, and it will receive 10 per cent. of the gross receipts of all stations so erected for a term of 28 years from the date of the opening of the first three stations.
The marvelous development of the American company is due principally to the absorption of the United Wireless Telegraph Company, giving it control of all but a very small percentage of the business in this country as well as the equipment of most of the ships out of American ports. Another important step was the agreement made with the Western Union, by which messages may be sent to any part of the country and may be transmitted to any point reached by the wireless on land or sea. A similar agreement was made with the Great Northwestern Telegraph Company of Canada.
Announcement has just been made that the American company has arranged to equip stations at New Orleans, at Swan Island in the Caribbean Sea, and at Santa Marta, Columbia, thus providing a direct wireless service between the two continents of North and South America.
The high-power stations connecting London and New York are expected to be in operation within a year. Contracts were recently signed by the American company for the purchase of 550 acres of land near Belmar, N. J., intended as a site for the high-power station on this side. It is estimated that the station will cost between $500,000 and $750,000, and with the station now being constructed by the English company near London, will be the largest in the world. A huge wireless station will be immediately erected at San Francisco also.
Considering the hundreds of Marconi stations already in operation and the plans for expansion, not only should the name Marconi become immediately synonymous with wireless but the associated companies should be recognized as one of the great combinations of capital and industrial resources of this age.
September, 1912, page 337:
OF INTEREST TO WIRELESS SHAREHOLDERS
Another step toward the rapid clearing up of the complexities of the wireless patent situation is the announcement by H. F. Stauffer, Examiner of Interferences of the United States Patent Office at Washington that a decision has just been rendered awarding priority of invention to Guglielmo Marconi, over the wireless inventions of Prof. Reginald A. Fessenden.
The invention specified involved a transmitting apparatus for wireless telegraphy. Fessenden contended that since his application was filed while the application of Marconi was pending, it appeared that Marconi's patent, No. 935,381 issued September 28, 1909, was inadvertently granted in view of Fessenden's application. He also alleged that an earlier application filed by him in 1906 contained features substantially the same as those in the patent granted Marconi. This motion was denied on the ground that it was not brought within the time allowed f or filing motions but Fessenden was permitted to introduce the earlier application in evidence. The right of Fessenden to go back to his earlier application was made an issue but the Patent Office could not find that the subject-matter of Marconi's invention was disclosed therein. And as Fessenden's later application, which was the one directly involved, was substantially the same as his earlier application it was decided that he had no right to make the issue and the award must be to Marconi.
The Fessenden wireless patents have been the basis of considerable litigation recently. They are owned by the National Electric Signaling Co., of Pittsburg, now in the hands of receivers. At the time when it was first announced that the Marconi Company was to acquire the assets of the bankrupt United Wireless Telegraph Company the Pittsburg concern asked the courts to stop the sale pending a settlement of the suit they had entered against the United Company charging infringement on the Fessenden patents. The final decision established the validity of the United patents and they were sold, along with the other assets of the bankrupt, to the Marconi Company, proving a very valuable addition to the already formidable array of Marconi wireless patents.
With this latest victory to their credit and with their former competitor, the National Electric Signaling Company, in the hands of receivers it would seem that there is now nothing in the way of the Marconi becoming the only system of commercial importance in the world.
Two suits for injunctions and damages for the infringement of wireless telegraph patents have been brought by the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America against the Federal Telegraph Company.
The patents involved cover basic inventions of Marconi, and the English scientist, Sir Oliver Lodge. Two of the patents have already been adjudged valid and held to have been infringed by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The bills of complaint in these suits allege that the Federal Telegraph Company is making and using the apparatus and system of these wireless telegraph patents, and claim that the Marconi Company is entitled to an injunction restraining the Federal Company and its associates, directors, officers, etc., from the infringement ol the patents, and that the Marconi Company is entitled to a large amount of damages and profits which it has sustained by reason of the Federal Company's infringement. If the claims of the Marconi Company in these suits are sustained, the Federal Company will be obliged to discontinue the use of the infringing apparatus and compelled to pay damages to the Marconi Company.