Monday, 31 July 2006
Labor Saving Device
To be patented, an invention must be novel, non-obvious, and useful. Contrary to popular belief, this does not mean that someone must be capable (or willing) to use it. In 1965, George and Charlotte Blonsky patented their "Apparatus for facilitating the birth of a child by centrifugal force" — U.S. Patent No. 3,216,423 (750 kb pdf).
Way back in October 2003, I got in a debate with Ernest Miller about whether liability insurance for copyright infringement for P2P users is a good idea. (See 1, 2.) That debate was interesting enough for the Insurance Journal to cover it ("Individual Copyright Infringement Insurance Prompts a Lawyerly Debate").
Providing insurance to file-sharers is [Magnus] Braath's way of protesting Sweden's restrictions on downloading movie and music files. "I can't agree with this law," said Braath, who is from Uppsala, about 50 miles from Stockholm. "I wanted to make some sort of statement."