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A Triumph of Genius: Edwin Land, Polaroid, and the Kodak Patent War

A Triumph of Genius: Edwin Land, Polaroid, and the Kodak Patent War


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One man Steve Jobs outspokenly admired was Edwin Land, the creator of Polaroid’s instant photography. Jobs revered Land as "a national treasure," and modeled much of his career after his. Neither had a college degree, but both men built highly successful, innovative organizations. Both were perfectionists, micro-managers with fanatic attention to detail, consummate showmen and marketers. In many ways, Edwin Land was the original Steve Jobs.

This riveting biography from the American Bar Association, visits the spectacular life of Edwin Land, breakthrough inventor. At the time of his death, he stood third on the list of our most prolific inventors, behind only Thomas Edison and one of Edison’s colleagues. Land’s most famous achievement of course, was the creation of a type of film and camera that could produce a photographic print an instant after the picture was taken. The book takes you behind the scenes of his discoveries, his triumphs, and defeats. This book presents an unprecedented look at a reclusive genius.

You'll learn details of Land’s involvement over four decades with top-secret U.S. military intelligence efforts during World War II and through the Cold War in the service of seven American presidents. Additionally, you'll thrill to the compelling first-hand look at perhaps our nation’s most important legal battles over intellectual property - Kodak versus Polaroid. This corporate and legal struggle is a story of almost operatic dimension. What began as a cooperative and collegial relationship ended in Kodak's betrayal. The conflict led to an epic legal battle, a dramatic event for Land who, from the witness stand, personally starred in a compelling courtroom drama.

More than a simple biography, this fascinating book details the most significant patent litigation of the 20th century over the one-step photography technology developed by Polaroid and its founder, Dr. Edwin H. Land. It's a biographical legal thriller that is not to be missed!

"Edwin Land was a multi-faceted genius, and his Polaroid was a quintessential American success story. With great skill, Ron Fierstein tells the full story of the company’s epic court battle with Kodak for the first time - a sobering tale with many lessons for 21st-century entrepreneurs."
- Harry McCracken, Technology Editor, Fast Company magazine

About the Author

Ronald K. Fierstein was a young lawyer on the team of litigators from the prestigious patent law firm of Fish & Neave representing Polaroid in its epic patent battle with Eastman Kodak over instant photography technology. He had the unique experience of working closely with Polaroid’s two main witnesses, Dr. Edwin Land and Howard Rogers, during the discovery phase of the litigation and then throughout the dramatic federal court trial in Boston. After leaving the practice of law in the early 1980s, he has enjoyed a long and successful career in the entertainment industry, representing artists in the recording (Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin, Mary Chapin Carpenter) and theater (Harvey Fierstein) industries. Ron lives with his wife in Chappaqua, NY, and spends as much time as he can at their second home on the beautiful island of North Hero, VT. They have two grown sons.

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