Originally posted by trinitrotoluene
I think I am going to patent fingers.
Generally speaking, your average modern patent awards you, the inventor/creator, the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering for
sale, or importing your patented invention.
(now unless you can prove that you have originally devised, created or invented fingers, you're going to have trouble with that one)
The common example used is this:
You see an existing (patented) mouse trap design, and think "Yo! I can improve on that sucker by doing this...." - then you add a new feature (oh,
I don't know - lethal injection or something) to make an improved mouse trap, and you then obtain a patent on the improvement. You can now can
legally build your improved mouse trap...with one caveat. Just one, but it's a biggie.
You have to acquire permission from the patent holder of the original mouse trap
(assuming the original patent still applies). Yup - you
gotta get the originator's permission first.
So - who invented fingers?
If you believe God did - then good luck pursuading Him to hand over the patent rights.
If you believe it's evolutionary - then good luck pursuading Mama Nature to hand over the patent rights.
Either way you get my point
Generally, laws of nature, physical phenomena, and abstract ideas are not patentable.
Neither are hurricanes. Or herpes.
But mousetraps are.
(though if you actually wanted to include lethal injection, I'm thinking you'd need permission from the original inventor of said mousestrap,
the patent-holder of the exact lethal injection mechanism you wish to use....)