On Intellectual Property V

The United States has a “first-to-file” patent system, which means the first person or company to file for a patent on a novel invention gets the monopoly protection. This is obviously a violation of so-called intellectual property rights. Simultaneous invention happens all the time, and so simultaneous ownership of a novel invention should be respected. Further, when one of the inventors decides to license to the entire world without cost (to release it into the public domain), which he is well within his rights as owner to do, the other inventors of that same invention are unable to stop him. All of their hard work no longer has monopoly protection. Both of these opposing ideas, “first-to-file” and simultaneous ownership, should further demonstrate the absurdity of intellectual property, and particularly here, of patents. And that’s today’s two cents.

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Skyler J. Collins (Editor)

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Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com and UnschoolingDads.com, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on the Everything Voluntary podcast.

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