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Opposing Broad Patent: Scientific American's Response to Morse v. O'Reilly (1848)

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1 Author(s)
Norman E. Youngblood ; Department of Communication & Journalism, Auburn University

In 1848, Scientific American, a popular science and technology journal, published a series criticizing Morse v. O'Reilly's (1848) confirmation of Samuel Morse's broad telegraph patent and patenting scientific principles. It attacked the decision using copia and classification, rhetoric echoed by the Supreme Court and others in reversing the 1848 decision. The journal was particularly concerned with the case's implications for Morse's patent battles with Royal House and Alexander Bain. The articles offer an opportunity to examine the rhetoric of patent debates and differences in the rhetoric of professional and scientific journals without the emotional attachments of examining contemporary issues.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication  (Volume:54 ,  Issue: 1 )