Thursday, July 08, 2004

Patented Lives

Take a look at the world around you - your clothes, shoes, furniture, TV, radio, food, toys and everything else that you see, touch or use. Have you ever realized that every one of these has been patented, copyrighted or trademarked by some person or company? All their designs, manufacturing processes and the machines that make them are someone else’s property. You can use them because you’ve paid for them. In effect the world around you has been patented and does not belong to you.

Patenting and other similar laws were primarily created to safeguard the interests of the inventors, artists or innovators, who conceptualize these products. While creating a means to reward these people through royalties, such laws are also thought to encourage new innovations.

But for the common person who is really not innovating all the time, he or she is literally paying someone to do just about anything in life. Shouldn’t we all break out of this shell? Come to think of it, you realize that there’s really no way out. You just cannot get by without using at least one patented item.

But, there’s one thing we all can do. We, as individuals, still control our minds and emotions. Maybe we should put these to better use and try to be more creative, more innovative and nicer people. These are priceless qualities that can never be controlled by any law. And at the end, everyone will profit!

Need to know more about patents, copyrights and other similar topics? Check out the World Intellectual Property Organization website.

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