One of the few good things in the US concerning copyright law was the decision to make sure that all federal government documents, that are released, are released into the public domain rather than covered by any sort of government copyright (such as crown copyright found in other countries). However, for some reason, the government has not
done the same thing when it comes to federally funded research that is turned into patents. A couple of years ago, we questioned why NASA was auctioning off patents
that were taxpayer funded. It appears that NASA doesn't care.Ben
points us to the news that NASA is about to auction off a bunch of other patents
as well, including five patents around "automated software generation." There's simply no reason
not to put this research into the public domain where it can actually be used to benefit both commercial and non-commercial projects. By auctioning off a patent monopoly, it will almost certainly be using taxpayer-funded research to stifle innovation.