It has to be one of the oddest comments that I have encountered in quite a while. The setting is the September 18th issue of The Economist. In the Business section, the magazine presented the kind of article for which it is rightfully reknown. Entitled "The Future of the Pencil" the article recounts the multi-generation saga of Faber-Castell, a German company located near Nuremberg that has been making pencils since 1761. They have done so with such success that the company is described as the world's largest branded pencil manufacturer.
"Faber-Castell's second big innovation was stolen. In 1875 America's Supreme Court ruled that Faber was entitled to put rubber erasers onto the back of its pencils, although another inventor had already patented the idea. The court felt that the idea was too obvious to patent."