Interesting facts on IP from Mother Jones. Highlights:
U.S. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY is valued at $5.5 trillion, equal to 47% of our GDP and greater than the GDP of any other nation but China.
VENICE INTRODUCED the patent concept in 1474. Infringers were fined 100 ducats.
AMONG THE 16,000 people thus far sued for sharing music files was a 65-year-old woman who, though she didn’t own downloading software, was accused of sharing 2,000 songs, including Trick Daddy’s “I’m a Thug.” She was sued for up to $150,000 per song.
NEARLY 20% of the 23,688 known human genes are patented in the United States. Private companies hold 63% of those patents.
“SENSORY TRADEMARKS” include a duck quacking (AFLAC), a lion roaring (MGM), yodelling (Yahoo!), giggling (Pillsbury), and a “pre-programmed rotating sequence of a plurality of high intensity columns of light projected into the sky to locate a source at the base thereof” (Ballantyne of Omaha).
42% OF ALL VIDEO files shared online are pornographic. No porn-sharing cases have yet been tried in the U.S.
RENTAMARK.COM makes money by claiming ownership of 10,000 phrases, including “chutzpah,” “casual Fridays,” “.com,” “fraud investigation,” and “big breasts.”