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In this interview by Lew Rockwell, libertarian and intellectual property lawyer Stephan Kinsella takes exception with Ayn Rand’s stance on intellectual property.

Starting at 11:11:

Rockwell: “Where did Rand go wrong?

If you didn’t believe that the U.S. Constitution’s view of patents and copyrights was exactly right, that you were a communist. But it seems to me she had very little argument for this.

Kinsella: “Her sort of religious adherence to the American scheme of government, which was almost perfect, in her mind.

Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, “Powers of Congress,” includes:

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

Note that it says: “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts,” and not to promote bottom line of patent holders, many of which are corporations these days, unlike in 1787 when the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution.

The significance of that, to me, is that individuals are more likely to patent something out of their interest in profiting from their own creations, as opposed to those corporations that file new patents or buy existing ones to stymie progress.

Kinsella points out that Rand mistakenly believed that the person who first files for a patent gets it, whereas the U.S. is the only country that grants the patent to the first person to invent what is filed for.

However, that is only true in theory, as the 1984 patent for the fraudulent “HIV test” shows, which was granted to Robert Gallo of the National Institutes of Health, instead of the first test developer and patent filer, 2008 Nobel Prize winner Luc Montagnier, as documented in the 2003 book, Science Fictions. If you have enough sway with the Patent and Trademark Office, you’ll get your patent regardless of who the first inventor was.

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