cygtoad writes "Today marks Robert Bunsen's 200th birthday. I found this interesting factoid on the man: 'Bunsen and Desaga did not apply for patent protection on their burner and it was quite soon that others began to produce their own versions. Some even went so far as to claim the invention as their own, including one person who was granted a patent on the device. Both Bunsen and Desaga were involved in writing letters to the proper authorities to refute these claims.' Does anyone have an older example of such an open information pioneer? In my book he deserves some honor."
Benjamin Franklin famously chose not to patent the design of the stove that bears his name
, too; you can read all about it