This week in 1846 – An artificial leg was patented by Benjamin Palmer of Meredith, NH who “got a leg up” on all other competition, according to the U.S. Patent office.
In 1892 – The first successful automatic telephone system was introduced in Laporte, Indiana. Almon Strowger, an undertaker, came up with the idea because the non-automatic system made it possible for his customers’ calls to be intercepted by his competitor.
1988 – The Morris worm, the first Internet-distributed computer worm to gain significant media attention, was launched by Cornell University graduate student, Robert Morris. It resulted in the first conviction in the US under the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. A floppy disk, containing the original source code for the worm is housed at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.
And this week in 1999 – A federal judge declared that Microsoft possessed monopoly power in the market for PC operating systems and that it harmed consumers through its anti-competitive behavior. The judge also stated that Microsoft demonstrated that it will use its power to harm any firm that pursued initiatives that could compete with their core products. This was a major victory for the US government in their long-running antitrust trial against Microsoft.