Using the State’s Patent System Against It

While the patent system is a clever state devised mechanism to create artificially scarcity on a non-scarce resource (ideas) it’s nice to see it can be used against the state at times:

In California, legislation signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007 has been held up while the attorney general’s office makes sure the technology is unencumbered by patents, as the microstamping law requires. A gun rights group, the Calguns Foundation, went so far as to pay a $555 fee to extend a lapsing patent held by the developer to further delay the law from taking effect.

“It was a lot cheaper to keep the patent in force than to litigate over the issues,” said Gene Hoffman, the chairman of the foundation, adding that he believed the law amounted to a gun ban in California.

Excellent move Calguns Foundation. The interesting thing about microstamping, besides it’s unusable nature, is the fact it could be used as a de facto firearm ban. Microstamping is patented, meaning one entity has been granted a monopoly by the state on developing and selling the technology. While the patent owner claims he wants the technology to fall into the public domain the gun control zealots probably want it to remain patented. Why? Because laws can be put into place to require microstamping technology be implemented on firearms while the patent holder can make the cost of licensing the technology so absurdly high that nobody could purchase a firearm. Fortunately this issue is tied up in court because the scenario I just described would violate the right to keep and bear arms.

Although my accusation is speculative, I’m pretty sure the gun control zealots and California’s legislative body (but I repeat myself) were betting on the patent scenario I described above would work out in their favor. Instead their idea has actually worked out, somewhat, in our favor. Once in a while we can use the state’s weapon against it.