I'm not disagreeing with anything you say above, except the part about me not knowing what I am tallking about.
I'm not saying that what the people you quote said is untrue. And you have done a great job on the research. And I am not setting out to be inflamatory or provocative, or to undercut all the great work you have done so far.
But I do know precisely what I am talking about, regarding the one very narrow factual issue upon which I have focused. Why? Because the issue is so simple. And it relates to only a small, but very important, part of all the work you have done. It doesn't negatively reflect upon you in any way. Please don't take it that way. But nothing could be more black and white, open and shut. There is just a total lack of documentary evidence that any verified ownership change ever, I repeat ever, took place, with regard to the Thompson trademark rights and logo. And that is the essence of what you refer to as "the Thompson". I'm not talking about expired patents, or anything which came into the public domain as a result of military contract work during WW-II.
Sure, all the hardware and spare parts and frames and advertising brochure and miscellaneous bits and pieces changed hands. It makes no difference whether we see receipts or signatures or not. We know it happened, or think so, even if we were not there. You can call that "the Thompson" if you want to. It makes no difference. But legally registered intellectual rights, such as a trade name, copyright, and all things like that are a totally different matter. There is nothing casual about one bit of it.
This isn't my opinion. This is fact. Or really, I should say an absence of fact. I'm only speak as would a juror, having listened to sworn testimony and maybe studied material evidence presented in a courtroom. If I see or hear no evidence that it happened, I cannot conclude that it did happen. Reading 50 articles, the summary of 50 persons' opinions, does not change the existence, or non-existence, of the evidence upon which all those opinions may be based.
Corporate rights are not treated lightly or casually in the business world today. They never were, in several hundreds of years. Look at the course of the firearms patent and copyright battles of the mid and late 1800s. These much later Thompson rights were very significant corporate rights. People went to the trouble and expense of registering and protecting them under the law. If you cannot show me one bit of proof that the owner of these rights not only sold them to a second party, but attested to that under the law which governed such transfers, by recording it as required under that law, then it did not happen; under the law, I mean. And that's all that is being debated here.
As far as I am concerned, there really is no debate. Because there is no positive evidence of a transfer. Not a shred.
Once again, did it actually happen
? I'm more inclined to believe that it did happen, than that it did not happen. But neither my opinion nor yours constitutes verification. Only documentation does that. It is entirely possible that all the hard documentary proof anybody would require is sitting in some yellowed file folder in some small county courthouse. We just haven't found it yet.
Here's something else that would go a long way toward convincing me that the intellectual rights were probably sold in a lawful, documented way. If any of the people you interview say, or letters or other documentation say, that on a certain date representatives of the seller and buyer met at a specific law office or court clerk's office to sign and register the ownership transfer, I'd say we are onto something. And maybe just a little more digging will reveal it. But so far? We aren't there. You've gotten us much closer, though. I respect you for that. Nobody else has tried harder in recent years. Please don't put me on the list of people who are trying to tear down your good work, rather than encourage it. I hope you keep it up.
We simply have to admit that only facts cut it. Talk and opinion doesn't. It's no different than selling any other high value item where ownership change is tightly controlled and registered. Try selling your house, car, or a plot of land some other way. Lawyers and court officials and patent or copyright office people will laugh at you. Seat-of-the-pants flying doesn't work here.
TD, please don't get ticked off at me personally. I'm not taking this position because I am an idiot. I do not want to detract in any way from the great and well motivated job you are doing. You are a good guy doing a good thing and the whole ball of wax is a hobby, or passion, which fascinates all of us. And I am not a bad guy for saying slow down, we have a missing piece here. We do need to keep a grip on reality and objectivity. Over the course of many years in the intelligence and analysis business, I learned that you cannot, and must not, yield to the temptation to "create" facts from smoke, when they just are not there. I have seen a lot of people try it, on really major issues involving our national security. In a couple cases, I tried to tactfully warn the shortcut takers, to keep us all out of trouble. Sadly, I always turned out to have been right in cases where I took an unpopular position and was overruled, and the chickens eventually came home to roost. It hurts when a lot of people die unnecessarily because of it. We are at exactly one of those points right now, reaping the sad result of people in high places having taken stupid shortcuts for short term political benefits, and it gives me little satisfaction in being able to say, "I told you so." Here in Thompson Land, the issue is not so important. It's only about fun; nothing important rides on it. Yet the methodology is the same. If facts are not there, don't try to take evidenciary shortcuts. Dig a little deeper, or just set it aside and wait for awhile; maybe something will float to the surface.
Please try to resist the temptation to let frustration or anger get in the way of cool, dispassionate research and analysis. Long ago, as a newbie in Washington, I had a very patient supervisor who had learned this over a lifetime in the intelligence business and OSS. He completely changed my approach to thinking things through and being extremely analytical. I owe him a lot. He literally taught me to think. Never let anything get in the way of facts. And always look at them a few times, from different angles. Hopefully, have a colleague or two do the same. Only then should you begin
to think about what it means, and act upon your new understanding of it.
I guess if every person in the U.S. did that, Obama would not get a single vote.
But then, neither would McCain.
What I sense might be happening here is that there could be some tilting in the direction of thinking that if the same case for "unbroken succession" is made often enough, in enough high visibility places, such as SAR, using more and more paragraphs and pages, and more unsubstantiated anecdotal accounts, the critical core issue of a lack of hard documentary evidence can be sidestepped permanently; everybody will begin to accept the "unbroken succession" contention as fact, without realizing that the objective record does not support this. I'd be much happier if you turn out to be the guy, TD, who hits the jackpot and finds that one signed and notarized document which lays this turkey to rest forever, proving that yes, there is an unbroken ownership succession of the Thompson name and logo, etc.
And if I'm the guy who gets you so ticked off that you won't stop until you find it, I can live with that. Such court records and filings never ever get thrown away, not for hundreds of years. Nor were these Thompson records, if they exist
. Some of these filings in Spain, going back to the early 1700s, are still being used to track down the completely inventoried cargo of treasure ships sunk off the coast of Florida. And successors to the insurance companies and governments involved are still trying to pry into it and loot what they can, of course.