Sunday, August 26, 2012

Patent Wars

Unless the news reports got it wrong, a California jury upheld Apple's patent of the rounded rectangle.  Frankly, I think patent law is getting a little too weird these days.

This is not to say that I don't believe in intellectual property rights, but granting patents to common shapes, naturally occurring DNA sequences, and traditional medicines used for centuries in non-western cultures takes patent rights entirely too far.

Monsanto's patents of genetically modified corn and soybeans give the company a virtual monopoly over the foundations of our food supply.  Farmers who prefer not to use Monsanto's seed are sued if their crops happen to be cross-pollenated by Monsanto plants upwind.

And don't even get me started on the changes made to copyright law over the past few decades!  The abuse of intellectual property rights continues to get worse and worse, and the end result is to give monopolistic power to the mega-corporations which own those "rights."  All hail the plutocrats, yet again.

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