Someone told me the other day that modern car seatbelt technology was invented in 1959 by a chap called Nils Bohlin working for that Swedish beacon of solid, reliable car safety, Volvo. Well done to Nils. An impressive achievement and one that has gone on to save countless thousands of lives. But wait until you hear this.
Instead of commercialising the heck out of this new invention as you might reasonably have expected, Volvo made the seatbelt technology patent open and free for everyone to use. For the greater good. Yes. Honestly. They felt it was genuinely in the best interests of all consumers that Nils’ invention be used by as many other car manufacturers as possible as quickly as possible. They thought that was more important than keeping it to give Volvo a commercial edge for a few years until their competitors caught up.