Who doesn’t love France, right? Mountains, beaches, wine, cheese, Le Mans, Le Tour. Then why is it that a country that seemingly has it all, doesn’t want others to have something as well. In this case, why would French airplane manufacturer Airbus put money into developping an idea, only to make sure others don’t use it.
Flying on a saddle
Recently Airbus patented the idea of not placing passengers in a chair for short flights, but on some sort of bicycle saddle. It’s it like that BMX scene from E.T., but not really. That way, a lot more passengers could fit into the same plane. Sounds great huh!? No it doesn’t, but that’s not the point. Airbus is obviously very much aware that this particular idea would be a tough one to market. Even for notoriously cheap and unfomfortable price fighter airlines. But they patented it anyway
What are you, five?
But why? Are the French just that stubborn? Good question. And, lucky for us, British newspaper The Telegraph asked it. Airbus’ response? It somehting like “We have no intention of actually using this patent, but we file hundreds of patents a year. It’s about protecting our ideas.” So, they’re saying that they don’t patent ideas to work with them, but to prevent others of thinking of the same ideas and working with them.
My kids classmates do that. “You can’t draw a purple elephant, because I just thought of drawing a purple elephant.” Not only are they five, they are also told by parents and teachers that that’s just ridiculous behaviour. As it turns out, it’s only ridiculous if you don;t have enough money to patent your though of drawing a purple elephant. After that, it’s yours.
Ideas are like oxygen
I once attended a workshop by German artist and art professor Horst Rickels. He claimed that ideas are not yours. Like oxygen they’re just something that float by. You don’t develop an idea, it visits you. And than it’s up to you to decide to do something with it, or not. And if you don’t, the idea will go to someone else. The French may also be known for their poetry , but Airbus can go suck on that one for a long long time.