Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Expired Terms

Sixty Grit raised an interesting point back here about substituting everyday chemical substances for commercial products.  This is a very DIY approach and reminds me of a thriving barter economy.

It also reminds me of a Jeffersonian Ideal.  In his view, patents were a sort compromise: monopoly rights granted for a fixed term in exchange for a full disclosure into public domain.  The latter is never emphasized, and yet the Patent Office essentially publishes an online "how-to" manual for many many useful inventions. They all come with expiration dates, the one date which is rarely emphasized.  Why do you suppose that is?

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