A century ago, in 1911, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its path-breaking decision in the monopolization case against the Standard Oil Companies. Standard pleaded inter alia that its near-monopoly position was the result of superior innovation, citing in particular the Frasch-Burton process for refining the high-sulfur oil found around Lima, Ohio. This paper examines the role of Hermann Frasch in inventing and developing the desulfurization process, showing that Standard failed to recognize his inventive genius when he was its employee and purchased his rights and services only after he had applied it in his own Canadian company.
Review of Industrial Organization – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 27, 2011
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