by Mike Masnick
Thu, Nov 11th 2010 9:27am
Two years ago, we wrote about how the Finnish military was accusing the Russians of infringing on their camouflage intellectual property. The Finns had apparently registered the camouflage as a design right, and the Russians were copying it. Perhaps building on that idea, it appears that the South Korean military is now trying to patent the camouflage design of its new uniforms, with the idea being (again) to prevent others (the North Koreans, for example) from copying the uniforms in order to confuse South Korean soldiers. I'm not quite sure how South Korean patent law works, or how it's even possible to patent such a thing there, but if the goal really is to prevent nefarious enemy soldiers from dressing up in South Korean uniforms, you'd have to imagine it's not going to be effective. After all, if we're talking about an army invading or infiltrating, one imagines that they wouldn't have much concern about how they're also infringing on the patent. In the meantime, I'm curious if anyone can explain the "incentive" provided to the South Korean military by this potential patent. Is anyone really suggesting that such a uniform would not have been designed without the protection of a patent?
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