Patenting Economics (and Other Things)
| Nicolai Foss |
The Google Empire appears to be expanding continually, and it is not easy to keep track of its recent conquests. Actually, I learned only yesterday that Google indexes patents and patent applications from the United States Patent and Trademark Office under www.google.com/patents.
The engine — which comprises 7 million patents — is fun to explore. Surprisingly many patent (applications) relate to economics. Many seem downright cranky, such as the application for a Method for the Determination of Economic Potentials and Temperatures (or perhaps I am just ignorant). Lots of management tools are also patented. For example, here is a patent describing a tool for analyzing “strategic capability networks.”
Ian Stewart claims (here) that two prime numbers have been patented (here is the short one: 7,994,412,097,716,110,548,127,211,733,331,600,522,93757,046,707,3,776, 649,963,673,962,686,200,838,432,950,239,103,981,070,728,369,599,816,314,646, 482,720,706,826,018,360,181,196,843,154,224,748,382,211,019 (now, don’t reproduce this, unless you want to get into trouble ;-)), but I haven’t been able to locate them.