TechLiberation: Patents and Property Rights
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Started by: zoobabzoobab
Date: 10 Feb 2009 23:24
Number of posts: 1
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Now, compare that to someone who “owns” a “method for managing the consumption risk costs of a commodity.” Ben’s right that we’ve got a bundle of sticks here just as we do with the car. Had Bilski’s patent been upheld, he could have kept the patent for himself or licensed, given, or sold it to others. The problem is that it’s totally unclear what the “thing” is to which the sticks in this bundle relate. Reasonable people can parse the language of the patent and come to radically different conclusions about the scope of the patent right, all of them plausible. A patent is not the ownership of a pre-existing thing that needs an owner. Rather, the things over which the patent system gives people ownership are the creations of patent law. And in many cases, it makes little sense to talk about them as “things” at all.
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