Why would an invention, declared free to the world, have that freedom denied to only one country on earth?
In the 1830’s, two inventors, unknown to each other were making great discoveries in the world of photography. In France, Louis Daguerre invented the daguerreotype process of photography and was regarded as one of the fathers of the industry.
At the same time, an Englishman by the name of Talbot was conducting his own experiments in the field of photography.
Reports came in of his French counterpart and Talbot assumed that the methods must have been similar to his own and thus wrote a letter to the Academy attempting to claim the invention for himself.
It turned out that the two processes were not the same, Talbot was inspired to continue his experiments which he had long-discontinued.
Just days before Daguerre’s invention was to be declared “free to the world,” his agent, Miles Berry, applied for a British patent. This made Great Britain the only country where a license was required for Daguerre’s invention.
One can only assume this was an intentional move by Daguerre and his team as a way of getting back at Talbot for attempting to lay claim to the invention. It may only be speculation, but I think it’s safe to say that Daguerre and Talbot weren’t the best of buddies.