Legal and Political Issues
Section 3.5.
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Artemis Project Patents and Intellectual Property

There have been repeated queries as to whether or not patents apply to the ideas and the basic science involved in the Artemis Project. Who does the intellectual property belong to, especially after it is published on the Artemis Project web site?

Publication in the Artemis Data Book doesn't imply that Artemis Society International owns it. See the copyright notice for details on copyrights.

Ideas, as just ideas, aren't patentable or copyrightable. You have to do something with the idea. Produce a product, write a story, something to give it financial value as intellectual property.

For example, Arthur C. Clarke is often billed as "the inventor of the communications satellite." Actually, he is not. Clarke suggested this idea of putting comsats into geostationary orbit in 1945 and used the idea in several stories, but he never invented or produced any part of a comsat.

If you read my stories, you'll see gazillions of ideas for technological marvels, but since I haven't done the skull work to actually make them feasible, I can't patent them. So anybody is welcome to design a self-adjusting space suit, a propulsion system which uses the sun's magnetic field, a rifle with IFF and target-tracking control circuitry, range-rate correcting optics for eyeglasses and binoculars, a space suit with built-in controls for self-propulsion, a space colony with a monorail tramway, or even an intelligent octopus. I'd list more, but I don't want to spoil the stories before I've had a chance to write them!

Another example would be the idea: "Suppose we put together a world-wide team and get to the moon just for fun. Let's call it the Artemis Project in honor of the Greek goddess of the moon!" Had we left it at that, we would have no claim to the intellectual property. The difference is that we did do something -- produced products and publications, formed a commercial corporation and a non-profit foundation, registered the trademark as property of the Lunar Resources Company, a company formed by members of Artemis Society International before there even was an Artemis society.

For a technical idea to be patentable, the Patent and Trademark Office will look for evidence that the inventor has added something to state of the art of technology. That requires some real research and design work by someone able to do that work.

Legal and Political Issues

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