Why does the common man still support patents?

A recent study found out that 1/5th of all research papers are being abandoned because of conflicts with patent holders. One of the slashdot readers asked why. There was this remarkable answer, which was different than other normal economics drenched answers. We have them because the average American wants to believe in a world where he/she can one day strike it rich by inventing some widely used product. The problem is, the patent system doesn’t really work that way, no matter how much patent supporters pretend it protects powerless inventors.

IBM’s Double Face on Patents

IBM recently caused a lot of cheer when it announced that it is lobbying for patent reform. Apart from this, IBM has also pledged 500 U.S. Patents to Open Source recently. This post by Greg Aharonian - a person from the field of patents, calls IBM’s bluff and explains how he thinks it is probably only a well publicized corporate tactic by IBM to make it more difficult for new entrants to get into the patent game.

Sony patents a brain manipulation technology Reuters is reporting that Sony recently got a pie-in-the-sky patent on using ultrasonic waves to beam sensory perceptions, like sights, sounds, and smells, directly into the brain. So in a sense, Sony’s patent is an improvement on The Matrix and the traditional cyperpunk notions of a sensory-enabled network that inspired it, because Sony’s method is non-invasive and doesn’t require you to “jack in.” I suppose you could say it’s “wireless,” to use a current buzz word.

WIPO Shutting Out Public Interest Organizations

EFF reports: March 07, 2005. Geneva. - Last week, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) announced that it will shut out most public interest organizations at two important meetings devoted to intellectual property and development. As a result, WIPO delegates from 182 nations will discuss these issues without hearing from many of the world’s best-qualified experts. Scheduled for next month, two WIPO “Development Agenda” meetings will focus on the impact of copyright, patent, and other intellectual property rights regimes on the developing world.

Brazil to break drug patents

This had to happen one day. After AIDS infections in the country has reached alarming levels, Brazil health organizations have found the monopolistic pricing of Multinational drug companies, impossible to sustain. Therefore the country has taken the position that they have to break patents to lift the country out of misery. India has recently introduced product patents which is going into effect from Jan 1 2005. The immediate repurcussion of this is going to felt in a few months (till existing stocks are cleared) as medicine costs countrywide are going to zoom up.

Interesting items on sale

Bananaguard : Our unique, patented device allows for the safe transport and storage of individual bananas letting you enjoy perfect bananas anytime, anywhere. A travellers USB disk shaped as a mince pie. (Thanks to Boing Boing for the links)