A story about patenting.
Imagine these two guys. One guy living somewhere in, say, the USA. The other one on a small island somewhere. American guy is on the island on a holiday and sees Island guy manufacture a wheel. “Wow,” American guy mutters to himself, “If I wasn’t such an idiot around the toolshed I could totally build one of these myself. and wouldn’t a wheel be handy around the house?” But since he is, in fact, an idiot in the toolshed he cannot make one. He can however make a drawing of a wheel, which he does. He takes the drawing home (it’s a long trip by boat and horse, driving and riding are not yet invented and boating without wheels is a bit of a challenge as well) and then submits it to the Patent Office. He gets a patent for ‘round objects used for transportation purposes’. From this point on, he will be known to the world as ‘Patent Guy’.
So, Island guy then comes over from his island to the States and starts selling his wheels to everybody. And everyone wants a couple. So Island guy gets rich. At least, untill Patent guy comes in and says: “Hey, you owe me one hundred billion dollars“. Island guy says: “No way!“. Patent guy says:”Way!“. Island guys says: “No way!“. Patent guys says: “Way!” and shows him his patent. Island guys shows Patent guy his backside. Patent guy starts crying and runs to Judge guy.
Then things get kinda ugly.
And unfortunately there is no happy ending.
There is also a sort of similar story which involves poor little orphaned kids, dying of AIDS because people with fat arses and plastic wives who drive in big cars say they can’t afford to give those kids the medicine that would keep them alive. but that story is even worse for my blood pressure. So I chose the other one.
Patents, intellectual property, copyrights. The don’t help innovation. They suck. They really really do.