Friday, October 22, 2004

TOO FUNNY: From Scientific American - The U.S. intellectual-property system has distinguished itself in the past several years for such gems as patents on privatizing government, a method for using a playground swing, and a computerized system that handles reservations for going to the toilet. But patenting the obvious is by no means confined to the land of reality shows and SUVs.

In recent years, Costa Rica has given new meaning to the legal term "patent enforcement." It all has to do with the country's popular canopy tours, in which visitors strapped in a harness slide along a cable between treetop platforms. For Costa Rica, decade-old canopy tours are big business, generating a reported $120 million annually. It is estimated that a quarter of the more than a million tourists who come here every year patronize one of the 80-plus tour operations.

But the future of many of these businesses may now be in the balance because of a patent. In 1998 Darren Hreniuk, a transplanted Canadian entrepreneur, received a 20-year patent from Costa Rica's Industrial Property Registry for "an elevated forest transport system using harnesses and pulleys on a single horizontal line, using gravity for propulsion."

Last spring Hreniuk began to "enforce" his rights in the most literal sense of the word, according to reports in two Costa Rican newspapers, the Tico Times and La Nacion. With a cease-and-desist order from the country's Industrial Property Registry, issued on April 25, 2003, Hreniuk and police officers went to 14 canopy tour operators and tried to close them down unless each agreed to pay at least $75,000 for a franchise.

11 Comentários:

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Kely said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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Diana said...

Software patent does not have a universally accepted definition. One definition suggested by the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure is that a software patent is a "patent on any performance of a computer realised by means sportsbook of a computer program".
There is intense debate over the extent to which software patents should be granted, if at all.
Important issues concerning software patents include:
Whether software is patentable;
Whether the inventive step and non-obviousness requirement is too easily satisfied for software; and
Whether software patents encourage or discourage innovation.
http://www.enterbet.com

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