In an episode of Agatha Christie’s Poirot (S05E02 – The Underdog, 1993) at 41 minutes, an inventor describes how he was swindled by a corporation who stole his invention after pretending to have an interest in working with him so they could learn his secrets.
Similarly, one inventor had a friend who had developed a new method to streamline the processes for a large scale publisher. Once he had developed his new method and demonstrated it to them they told him they were not interested. Yet a year later he found they had adopted his method on the sly without his permission or compensating him.
This, as inventors have learned, is standard business procedure -certainly for large multinational corporations. It is the rule, not the exception. These cases illustrate exactly why a strong patent system is so crucial for inventors and small businesses. Without a strong patent system to protect America’s discoveries our shores are open to the predations of multinationals who take what they want and dare you to stop them. The present state of patent law permits and even sanctions this type of treachery. It is a national disgrace the founders would have loathed.
Great heft often comes from grand theft.