Questions tagged [patents]

Patents are granted by governments to inventors offering a time-limited monopoly to exploit an invention in return for open disclosure of the know-how behind the invention. Specific rules differ from country to country.

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41 votes
4 answers

Did the US Patent Office issue a patent for a stick?

An episode of Last Week Tonight claims that the US Patent Office once patented a stick: Okay, but we shouldn't necessarily trust the US Patent Office as an arbiter of good judgement. It's the same ...
Rebecca J. Stones's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer

Was a patent ever granted for a method of making lines thicker?

I've found some sources that claim IBM had gotten a patent on making a line thicker using digital means. Does such a patent exist or is this a myth? Here is one example of the claim from a Forbes ...
northerner's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer

Do GMO companies forbid independent research on their seeds?

I was linked to this article on Global today which claims that GMO companies (specifically Monsanto, but also naming DuPont and Syngenta) ban independent research on their seeds. There ...
March Ho's user avatar
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26 votes
3 answers

Does tetrasilver tetroxide cure AIDS?

I just found a picture that said: Wanna know a Secret? Google for 5676977 That leads to US Patent 5,676,977 which describes using the "diamagnetic semiconducting molecular crystal tetrasilver ...
Jutschge's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer

Has European Patent Office granted Monsanto a patent on natural broccoli seeds and florets?

An article on Natural News claims that EPO granted Monsanto a patent on conventionally-bred broccoli, which includes not only broccoli seeds but also the "severed broccoli head" and the "plurality ...
Ilari Kajaste's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer

86% of Steve Jobs patents were design patents?

A claim making rounds lately is that 86% of Apple patents attributed to Steve Jobs were for design patents, rather than technology. Example of such a claim: Apple’s patent portfolio is weighted ...
vartec's user avatar
  • 26.7k
16 votes
1 answer

Did Steve Jobs say "We've always been shameless about stealing great ideas."?

Did Steve Jobs make following statement: "We've always been shameless about stealing great ideas"
vartec's user avatar
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39 votes
2 answers

Do patents boost innovation?

In a recent judgement Europe's highest court ruled that Stem Cells derived from human embryos cannot be patented (see BBC story here). This provoked many scientists to argue that both research and the ...
RomanSt's user avatar
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30 votes
2 answers

Do software patents stifle creativity?

Is there any evidence to support the claim that software patents stifle creativity and put many people at risk of legal action? If necessary refer to some background reading: Seriously think about ...
going's user avatar
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