At the heart of this whole "Farnsworth -v- Sarnoff" story is the American patent system, which has changed considerably in the 200+ years since the Constitution first authorized Congress to protect the rights of "authors and inventors." Now there is legislation brewing that would make the already crippled patent system even more agreeable to the Corporate Monoliths that Rule the World.
I have an occasional e-mail correspondence going with a fellow in
Newport Beach CA name of George Margolin, who is an inventor and a fan
of my Philo biography. George is also a crusader against
pending legislation that sounds like it will hopelessly screw up and
already hopelessly screwed up patent system in the United States. The
subject is apparently one of the first on the docket for when the
Congress reconvenes after the holiday recess.
George just sent me this article from the OC Register that seems to offer a pretty good summary of the situation.
gist of George’s argument is that patent (and copyright) law has been
steadily "reformed" in such a way as to curry the favor of those giant
corporations which now own most of the patents in the world, to the
disadvantage of the actual "inventors" the Constitution was written to
If you’re interested in the subject, then you should
also look up Thom Hartmann’s book, "Unequal Protection," which
describes how the corporate domination of America’s economy stems from
an obscure 19th Century Supreme Court decision that extends the "equal
protection’ clause of the 14th Amendment to "unnatural persons," i.e.
It would all make Mussolini very proud..