“We can’t say the move is directly responding to our project, but it’s safe to suspect they are related. It’s great that they’re making the guidelines available to the public, we think they should be. That said, we don’t think that having an online PDF is the easiest way to engage with the information.”
Bich didn’t just profit from the ballpoint; he won the race to make it cheap. When it first hit the market in 1946, a ballpoint pen sold for around $10, roughly equivalent to $100 today. Competition brought that price steadily down, but Bich’s design drove it into the ground. When the Bic Cristal hit American markets in 1959, the price was down to 19 cents a pen. Today the Cristal sells for about the same amount, despite inflation.