What Government's Being Accused of Serial Patent Infringement and IP Theft?

"Which one isn't?"


"all of them"

It's not China, often accused of IP and copyright piracy, and used as a stalking horse by politicians seeking to push through legislation to control internet security. Fox News finds several companies accusing various agencies of the federal government of stealing software and other forms of intellectual property, including one lawsuit against the Department of Energy by the technology company Demodulation seeking $50 million.  The dispute involves "microwire" and related intelligence-gathering trade secrets. The government argues the patents are expired now, but the company claims they weren't before the government helped drive it out of business. The Army settled with another company last year, Apptricity, which accused the government of wilfully ignoring software license limits and trying to conceal that it was misappropriating the software. Nevertheless, after a $50 million settlement, the company's founder and president told Fox he didn't "think there was malicious intent."

Other accusations chronicled by Fox News include the government ignoring the copyright for a lead-free "green" bullet, infringing on a patent for a mine detecting device, and stealing software to monitor food safety. The owner of the company that developed the food safety software, for the FDA, is apparently a "retired federal government official." He told Fox he had "never seen anything like" what the feds did to his company.

Related: Ron Bailey on killing off software patents.

More Reason on copyright and patent law.