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Criminalising patent infringement is draconian

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Governments occasionally discuss criminalizing patent infringement.

This raises massive social questions because acts such as making a website can infringe patents, and hobbyist software projects can infringe hundreds of patents.


[edit] Why would anyone suggest this?

In many countries, the investigation of crimes is paid for by the government, whereas a civil case would have to be billed by the complainant. The idea of criminalizing patent infringement might be motivated by a desire by patent holders to have automatic enforcement, all funded by the tax payer.

[edit] Where has this been suggested?

In the European Union, the "IPRED2" directive proposed criminalizing a dozen laws, including patent infringement. Patent infringement was later removed, and the proposal later got stuck for other reasons. (Can you help? dates/years needed)
Note: it's usual for laws which talk about "intellectual property" to have perverse effects - it's rare that a unified policy can be intelligent for a set of domains as unrelated as patents and copyright and trademarks and geographical designations and plant varieties and design patents, etc.

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement proposed different draconian measures.

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