snopes writes "Here's an article discussing whether states should be exempt from the same patent laws which US companies must abide by. It's not a terribly exciting read, but important if you're at all concerned with these sorts of issues. The core argument: Patent law is federal and federal law cannot be applied against a state government. Therefore, can a state using unlicensed technology be sued by the patent holder? Of course, there's still the issue of whether this sort of thing should be patented in the first place. " Yeah, it's about as exciting as reading abstracts for academic papers-but it does have an interesting arguement.
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