Man using a laptop mouse
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Mouse inventor 'never made money'

Douglas Engelbar, the man who invented the computer mouse, has died.

He passed away aged 88 and did not become rich through his invention, because he created the mouse before there was much use for it.

Speaking to the Today programme's Justin Webb was Bill English, a lifelong friend of Douglas Engelbart, said "His vision was being able to use computers to really alternate mans connection to thinking.

"And he used a computer screen to put things on, and it was quite clear that we needed something to point out the things on the screen."

Douglas Engelbart did not make money from inventing the mouse because the patent had already expired once it began being used.

Bill English explained: "The only money Doug ever got from it (the mouse) was $50,000 licence from Xerox when Xerox Parks started using the mouse. Apple never paid any money from it, and it took off from there."

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Thursday 4 July 2013.

  • 04 Jul 2013