Satellite communication patent (Arthur C Clarke)


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Staff member
Jan 5, 2001
Way on Down South, London Town
Science Fiction is by definition, based upon postulated scientific discoveries or environmental changes. Numerous authors have predicted things, which have ultimately come true. In 1945 Arthur C Clarke predicted satellite communications. He is often asked why he didn't patent the idea.

In an interview for the BBC Arthur C Clarke says 'I wrote a story many years ago called 'Silence Please' about devices that could eliminate sound, you can actually buy these on the market now. I am sometimes asked if I am sorry that I didn't patent the communications satellite, well I'm not sure that I could have done, but in any event I am fond of saying that "a patent is a license to be sued".'


Dec 4, 2007
i am not sure we still have the sound cloaking device .... though i do not remember - i must surely have read the story in question - what exactly the sound cancelletion device does or how it works.

the communications satellite was described by Clarke and hence became prior art when the satellites were actually built. Clarke had described the comunications satellite in such detail that they could not be patented when they were actually built... however until then they were just an idea which he had described .... and only ideas without any other basis cannot be patented. though software algorithms .... are almost like an idea ... but they can be patented