On Free Speech, Ideas and Patents

Posted by Anton Hughes on Thursday, November 30, 2006 with No comments
Ideas are not patentable because they are not controllable, and the distinction between invention and discovery is based on human control (anything under the sun made by man). Control equals possession and possession means ownership. If it cannot be possessed, then it cannot be owned, so no property right can be assigned.

An idea is “a specific thought or concept that arises in the mind of a person as a result of thinking” (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idea)

# (Idee) (to be distinguished from "idea" - Vorstellung) "The Idea is truth in itself and for itself — the absolute unity of the notion and objectivity. Its 'ideal' content is nothing but the notion in its detailed terms: its 'real' content is only the exhibition which the notion gives itself in the form of external existence, while yet, by enclosing this shape in its ideality, it keeps it in its power, and so keeps itself in it." Logic § 213.

[L:97] In the Logic, defined as "a concept of reason, whose object can be met with nowhere in experience", and thus cannot be known by us; Kant suggests, however, that such ideas "serve to guide the understanding through reason in respect of experience" by "using to their greatest perfection" the rules of reason. ...

Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in Abrams v. U.S.:

“[W]hen men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas-- that the best test of truth is is the power of thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out. That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution. It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment.”

“The [free speech] rulebook is the Marquess of Queensbury rules applied to speech instead of boxing; it is the official declaration that government must not reach down and push forward, or restrain, any of the players on the field.” (http://www.spectacle.org/296/rulebk.html)

ICCPR Article 19(2):

“Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.
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