ECON: Suppressed inventions

Patrick Wilken (
Sat, 3 May 1997 13:01:52 +1000

>As always, there's a bright side: all patents are public, so while
>you can't legally make profit from the patent, you can always build
>the device for your own use.

If you build something covered by copyright, whether for yourself or
someone else, I suspect that you are still breaking copyright. The idea of
copyright is to protect the financial rewards from a certain idea. If you
build it yourself rather than buy it you are taking away money from the
legal owner of the invention (of course the logic is twisted if the
copyright owner is just sitting on the patent, but I don't think this
changes anything legally). Otherwise it would be OK for a group of people
with mutual interest to form, then make and distribute a copyrighted
invention in a non-profit manner. The size of the group could be same size
as the market for the original invention. Even if there is a loophole in
the law that allows this to happen I doubt that it would last very long
once it was exploited.

best, patrick

Patrick Wilken
Editor: PSYCHE: An International Journal of Research on Consciousness
Secretary: The Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness