Shouldn't The USPTO's Education Curriculum Be Accurate?
from the one-would-think-that's-the-point dept
Even the way that USPTO boss Jon Dudas explains the program is problematic: "If you own something that is valuable, you want to protect it." That is not, and has never been, the purpose of the patent system. It's not about ownership and it's not about "protecting." It's about encouraging innovation. Simply by setting up this program as teaching kids about "protecting" something valuable they "own" is inaccurate. That's rather surprising, given that you would think the head of the USPTO would know what the patent system's purpose is. The website that hosts the curriculum has a short trailer video that has a clear false statement at the beginning, claiming "an invention needs to be protected by a patent." That would be quite a shock to Benjamin Franklin, who famously said of inventions: "That, as we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously," before questioning the value of patents. Somehow, I get the feeling that statement didn't make it into the USPTO's lesson plan.