Criminalising patent infringement is draconian
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.
 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.
 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.
 Related pages on en.swpat.org
- Insurance against patent litigation doesn't work (and if it was a crime, insurance would be illegal)
- Infringement is unavoidable
- Should patent infringers be jailed?, 14 Sep 2009, Trevor Baylis (patent holder) - calls for State-funded enforcement of patents
- Criminalizing patent infringement - "barking mad"?, 1 Sep 2009, IPKat
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