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Citizen Engineer: A Handbook for Socially Responsible Engineering by John Boutelle, Greg Papadopoulos, David Douglas

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12. Intellectual Property Law Fundamentals

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“Good artists copy. Great artists steal.”

—Pablo Picasso

It’s a world unto itself. It’s a field of study for philosophers, legal scholars, and think-tank researchers; it’s a battleground for corporations, inventors, and artists; it’s a cottage industry for lawyers, consultants, academics, and authors; it’s a specialized game with incredibly complex rules and its own arcane language. Collectively, it’s called “intellectual property law” and it’s dedicated to answering one simple question.

Who owns ideas?

The very notion that someone can own a creation of the mind is one of the strangest ideas conceived ...

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