intellectual property

Google Attempts To Fight Patent Trolls With A Pretty Dubious Strategy

Google’s legal team has announced that it will be buying as many patents as possible in order to “remove friction from the patent market” and defeat patent trolls, companies that buy patents just to sue people on bogus charges of infringement. But there’s a big problem with this strategy.


Prisoners In China Can Get Out Of Jail In Exchange For Patents

China absolutely dominates the rest of the world when it comes to the number of patents it produces. This is partly due to a government that encourages inventors with everything from cash gifts, tenured jobs at universities and early release from prison. Wait, what?


Cecil B. DeMille Kept A Wolf And Guns To Defend Against Edison's Thugs

Why did Southern California become the epicentre of the American film industry? The nice weather certainly helped. But there’s another element that modern Hollywood probably hopes you’d forget: Rampant piracy. Even though it was just the piracy of movie camera tech rather than the Jack Sparrow variety, there were plenty of real world bullets being discharged over it. Including bullets being aimed at the legendary director Cecil B. DeMille.


Why IKEA Shutting Down Its Most Popular Fan Site Is A Giant Mistake

If you’re like me, you’ve spent countless hours surfing IkeaHackers, where IKEA fans send in their mods and hacks. You’ve also probably spent money at IKEA thanks to the site, which has inspired a DIY fervour among its fans. Which is why IKEA shutting down IkeaHackers this weekend over trademark claims is beyond boneheaded.


Should Copyright Law Also Cover Hyperlinks?

The US Copyright Office recently proposed a seemingly small addition to copyright law that bears some huge implications. It wants to enable copyright holders to protect unauthorised versions of their work from hyperlinks. You read that right: It could soon be illegal simply to link to certain content.


7 NSA Patents: Cyber Manholes, Super-Shredders And More

The National Security Agency has access to the world’s most incredibly sophisticated spy technology. But did you know that the NSA sometimes patents its own creations?


3D Printing Will Let Us Copy Any Object. Can We Stop It?

3D printing and additive manufacturing may be destined to change how we make and acquire objects forever. But it’s also spurring a shadow revolution — one that focuses on how to stop us from replicating.


One Man Is Resurrecting Forgotten Patents Of Yore With 3D Printing

The charms of the patent office archives — and the hilariously insane inventions they contain — are well-known. But is it possible that a few of those failed entrepreneurs were actually onto something? New York lawyer Martin Galese thinks so — and he’s resurrecting the ghosts of patents past by offering 3D models of them online.


Norwegian Town Builds Artificial Sun To Light Up Five Months Of Darkness

The far north or south isn’t the only place on Earth that spends the winter locked in perpetual darkness. Beginning in September and ending in March, the tiny Norwegian town of Rjukan is cast into a perpetual shadow. But no longer: this month, engineers are completing The Mirror Project, a system that will shed winter light on Rjukan for the first time ever.


Amazon Has A Patent To Sell Used Ebooks

The problem with most ebooks is you can’t exactly give them with a friends or pass them onto your children when you’re done. But Amazon might actually address that with a new patent to sell used ebooks.