One of the outstanding observations which one may make of the rubber industry of today is the high degree of technical competition. Research laboratories are large and their members are well trained and resourceful. The achievements of these groups of competing technologists find their way to the public as patented articles or methods and scientific articles in the literature. In the majority of cases the new products or methods are promptly studied by competing laboratories and ways are found to accomplish the same end by means which do not infringe a given patent. Therefore, much of the energy of research is expended merely in the effort to keep pace with competitors. Because of this price competition and the narrow margin of total profits, there is a constant pressure upon technical groups to apply their energies to the solution of immediate needs. The physical proximity of the laboratories to the factories and the force of competition usually lead these men to appraise new ideas in the light of practicability. Can the trick be turned within one or two years? If not, efforts should be expended in apparently more fruitful fields.

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