I've found this article about Wright Brothers and patents, taking the position that their secrecy, patent war, was at the origin of their moderate success.
That idea is criticised by some, but anyway this is a reminder for LENR innovator, whatever Wright Brother did really .
In 1905 the Wright brothers enjoyed a complete monopoly on heavier-than-air aviation. They had the world’s only working airplane, were the only two pilots able to fly it, and had applied for a formidable patent that would cover any plane with three-axis control. Yet within five years they would regularly be surpassed by competitors at home and abroad, and before what was remembered as the Golden Age of Aviation arrived in the 1920s, they would be out of the aircraft business entirely. What happened?
The answer lies in the series of business decisions the brothers made once they had developed a plane that was suitable for the market. The prototype Flyer had first flown in December 1903, but not until late 1905 did they have a reliable aircraft design that could be mass-produced. They had spent the two-year interval at Huffman Prairie–an isolated field near Dayton, Ohio–building, flight-testing and modifying their engine, airframe, and wing-warping control system.
This quote raise one key problem with patents
But with the patent wars still in progress, Orville was reluctant to improve on the airplane’s basic design. That would have required adopting features from the very men he and Wilbur had accused of stealing. Pride compelled Orville to stick close to the original plan.
Patents are fair and required, but defending them make you innovate less, forcing others to innovate more. (Eg: Curtiss invented modern "ailerons" to escape wing bending patent).
Some studies have shown that owning patent make you innovate less, and strangely badly protected patents make your competitors innovate less giving you an advantage... (I've relayed those article there I think).
Basically, one should file patent, but accept to license them to others, and license others patent himself. It should be considered social life in an industry to license and be licensed, not a loss. A bit like inviting neighbors to a barbecue. Especially today, you should focus more on innovating fast, exploiting others IP and paying it at fair price, promoting other's talent, licensing your innovations as soon as someone need it, at a price promoting it's wide usage, rather than playing Gollum with his Precious.
It wasn’t until after Orville left that the patent wars were finally settled. In early 1917 Curtiss began threatening to sue other aircraft manufacturers to protect his own growing collection of patents. At the urging of the U.S. government after its entry into World War I, a consortium of aviation companies banded together and brokered an agreement by which all members could pay a fee to license the patented technology. In return, Curtiss and Wright-Martin each received two million dollars in a one-time settlement and agreed to lay the patent issue to rest.
Two years after Lindbergh, in 1929, the Wright name became even more potent in aviation manufacturing. Wright Aeronautical merged with Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor, becoming Curtiss-Wright . Twenty years after the Wrights sold their first airplane, struggling into business while fighting their debilitating patent wars, the company they had started finally became the second-largest aircraft and engine manufacturer in the nation (after the United Aircraft and Transport Corporation). But it had had to merge with its archenemy, Curtiss, to achieve this stature. And put its name second.
Note: JedRothwell have made a nice article on the Wright Brothers
NatGeo have made a romantic doc on Curtiss vs Wright battles,
that is criticized as biased
anyway this raise interesting questions...