Patent Quarrel at the Moore School


IEEE: “Minutes of 1947 Patent Conference, Moore School of Electrical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania”: Read the transcript of Mauchly, Eckert, von Neumann, et. al.’s meeting over patenting the electronic digital computer. After the widespread dissemination of “First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC,” the information contained within was in the public domain and therefore no one – not even von Neumann – could patent the computer. This transcript provides a close look at the complex relationships amongst these scientists and their joint inventions; it also shows how the patent issue was resolved. The piece begins with an introduction to the controversy, the conference, and the results.