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Submission + - How to prevent an idea from being patented? 6

Simon Brooke writes: I have an idea for a simple medical device which would greatly help in the monitoring of a disease I have, and several other diseases as well. Sooner or later one of the medical device companies is going to come up with this idea, patent it, and make a monopoly profit from it. I would much rather it were in the public domain, so all device manufacturers could use it freely, and it would therefore be available to patients at lower cost. Is there any way I can publish it that puts it in the public record, and prevents patents? Or should I actually apply for a patent and then give it away royalty free?

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