Business: Pencil Pact

When Scripto, Inc. and Parker Pen Co. each announced that they had a new kind of pencil that writes with liquid graphite and never has to be sharpened (TIME, Feb. 7), everyone in the industry expected a dingdong patent fight and a sales battle. Scripto's "Fluidlead," already on the market, was a 49¢ pencil; Parker's "Liquid Lead," a model at under $5, was to be brought out in the spring.

Last week on Valentine's Day, instead of scrapping, the two companies kissed and made up. To avoid the expense and confusion of a long patent battle, Scripto and Parker signed an agreement...

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