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Copy that

August 27th, 2003

First, it was Fox News claiming to own fair and balanced. Now US clothing store Abercrombie and Fitch claims to own the number 22.

They can have it for the moment. I plan to file an innovation patent on prime numbers. On past precedent, there should be no problem with that. Once that’s established, I’ll license derivative products like composites and A&F can look out.

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  1. Greg
    August 27th, 2003 at 15:51 | #1

    I have to inform everyone that I have today patented any mixture of the following gases in the percentages-by-volume specified. There will be an as-yet undetermined licence fee for any personal or corporate use of such a mixture whether manufactured or naturally-occurring

    Nitrogen 78.084%, Oxygen 20.9476%, Argon 0.934%, Carbon Dioxide 0.0314%, Neon Ne 0.001818%,
    Methane 0.0002%, Helium 0.000524%,
    Krypton 0.000114%, Hydrogen 0.00005%, Xenon 0.0000087%

    You will all receive your bills in the mail in due course. Thankyou.

  2. derrida derider
    August 28th, 2003 at 16:22 | #2

    But Greg, surely you will have trouble with quality control of your product – I understand that it is proving difficult to keep the CO2 within your specified proportion.

    I understood that Intel did not call the original Pentium chip the 586 because they lost a case on trademarking the letters 486. I reckon A&F will find the same.

  3. Greg
    August 29th, 2003 at 16:50 | #3

    As long as everyone herds along with the principle, I can handle the pragmatics thanks, derrida.

    A thought experiment: Had the composition of air been discovered following an easily-identified period of project research, by a single, private (ie, readily-identifiable) laboratory, would they have been granted the patent, had they been eligible to apply? Or would they not have been eligible to apply for it?

    Further, it seems to me that the old philosophical issue, still current among mathematicians, pertains: do we invent mathematical entities (eg, did we invent the number system, with all its unexpected and surprising properties identified since), or do we discover them (or was it pre-existing, awaiting our intrepid, detailed intellectual exploration)?

    It may be that the ‘invention’ hypothesis might be getting mis-applied, or inconsistently applied, by under-educated (or unduly-influenced) patent office(r)s.

  4. Tim
    September 9th, 2003 at 22:43 | #4

    hah! “22″ is just a single item, even primes only cover natural numbers, for real control you need “0″.

    as you sit there reading this, your computer is busily churning away with combinations of 1 and … wait for it, Smith! … 0

    the bill is in the virus hidden in this full stop –> .

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