Seriously, the linked article is dated 1 June 2007. The World Bank policy paper it covers is from April 2007 (http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WD
Quote from the paper (also quoted in the salon article):
The AK-47's ubiquity [in conflicts in third world countries] could alternatively be explained as a result of a path dependent process. Economic historians recognize that an inferior product may persist when a small but early advantage becomes large over time and builds up a legacy that makes switching costly (David 1975). In the case of the AK-47 that early advantage may be that as a Soviet invention it was not subject to patent and so could be freely copied.
Either this patent story is a joke, or Sergei Ivanov is spending too much time on teh internets...