When a bunch of universities file patents on bits and pieces of an area of research, such as has happened in nanotechnology, who are the big winners? That is, there is a commons made of patent claim thicket. No one can afford to sort it out. Not so much enclosing the commons as growing blackberry brambles in it. Everyone is exposed to any university showing up with a patent threat against anyone who noses into the territory. Someone has got to love this outcome. Who is that?

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