Ideas as Candle Flames (Wiki)

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Thanks to Craig Buchek for the content of this page.

Thomas Jefferson was the first Secretary of State, and ran the first Patent Office. He did not believe that ideas should be monopolized, but shared:

No one possesses the less because everyone possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me receives [it] without lessening [me], as he who lights his [candle] at mine receives light without darkening me.

Many in the tech industry believe that the current patent system perverts the intention of patents (to encourage public disclosure of innovations).

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