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The patent process [Was Re: Sharing the Family PC is Patent-Pending]

From: AES/newspost
Subject: The patent process [Was Re: Sharing the Family PC is Patent-Pending]
Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 13:35:40 -0700
User-agent: MT-NewsWatcher/3.1 (PPC)

A patent is a government action -- certainly not a law or an agency 
regulation in the usual sense, but a government action with the force of 
law and enforceable through the judicial system, that grants rights to 
some, takes away rights from others.  Each issued patent is, in effect 
and to most intents and purposes, a mini piece of legislation, or a mini 

Can anyone think of any other legislative or regulatory processes in 
which a law or government regulation is issued at the request of and for 
the benefit of an interested individual and:

* The content of the proposed legislation or regulation is kept more or 
less absolutely secret from all other potentially interested parties for 
as much as the first18 months of its consideration; and

* Other interested parties are not allowed to comment at all on the 
proposed legislation in any event until after it has issued and taken on 
the force of law (no public hearings, no requests for public comment of 
any kind); and

* The issuing agency will not consider any comments or relevant 
information that any other interested party may try to supply before 
issuance; and

* Even after issuance any interested party has to pay a substantial fee 
($8000) just to offer comment or information regarding the already 
issued law or regulation; and

* Doing so may have significant negative impact on the judicial rights 
of any individual who offers such comment and is subsequently accused of 
infringing the same law or regulation?

[Off-topic postscript: I suppose many of the Bush administration's 
energy, environmental, defense and other legislative and regulatory 
policies fall under the first and third of the items above, but not the 

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