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You are confusing patent and trademark. 

"Engineering concepts" are patented all the time. That's sort of the basis of most patents.

The fact that something is naturally occurring doesn't mean that its specific use cannot be patented. An use has to only be (under US law) novel, non-obvious and useful.

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@Mrowka I'm not confusing them at all. Neither of those things are required for copyright under English law. You would just have to demonstrate you were the first to use that particular design.

It is to a significant degree, based on common sense and what is considered reasonable.

I don't know about US law, other than that it is based on English common law.

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Whatever it is, you're confusing it with patent, which is what engineering concepts would fall under. Logos, design features and the like fall under trademark. Writings (including, among other things, computer programs and circuits) come under copyright.

Anyway, there is a reason that people are able to legally make and sell auto parts (to the extent not patented and not using OE logos or otherwise infringing on trademark) and the OEs and their licensees cannot do anything about it or sue (which is often mandatory under manufacturing licenses). 

In other words, I can copy the OE design for, say, a con rod, as long as the design is not patented and I don't use someone's else's trademark. The OE can't say boo.

BTW, IP law in England and most other countries is heavily influenced by US IP law. IP rights, as not being natural property rights, are entirely statutory in nature (in other words, the only reason you have IP is because the legislature -Parliament, in your case, says so.) Common law has nothing to do with it, except in interpretation of the legislative act.

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On 8/7/2020 at 4:22 AM, Mad Ax said:

the cost of living is high at least in part because we in the West have collectively created an economy run on strict regulation. 

People who do not need law because they are just good people, would think that.  But the world has enough bad people to need regulations.   Also, I might have seen the same documentary about the rubber farm!  I think such sweatshop conditions need to be strictly regulated.  

Humans would exploit others at a heartbeat.  Imagine polar bears group up and plan to kill grizzly bears. Not only that, they sit in front of a computer and practice-killing imaginary space-bears or zombie-bears.  We would think those bears are sick.  If it's a human child does that, we think nothing of it.  We are that kind of beings.

For thousands of years, we heard of Spartans, Alexander the Great, Battle of Trafalgar, Gettysburg, etc.  The root cause of all is one people trying to exploit another.  Even between spouses, there are abusive women and gold-digging men (or visa versa).  So, we try to regulate such behaviors.  

Laws set up the boundary you shouldn't cross; starting with, "Thou shalt not kill."  Most won't go near that boundary.  If you go beyond the minimum and are kind and considerate, the society would call you a civilized "gentle-man."  

But greed is what drives the exploits.  Napoleon never said, "As a gentleman, I will not want more."  If he did, England wouldn't have needed Nelson or Duke of Wellington to stop him.  Then again, we wouldn't know Gandhi if the Empire didn't stretch to India.  And why bother paying Indians to produce tea, when you can just kidnap people from Africa to work on our cotton farms?   

Humans like profit, we cut corners; we don't mind slowly killing others with pollutants. Hence the regulations.  Does it get convoluted? Do they need to be updated to make it easy to produce while protecting the people? Yes and yes.  But even in my township, there is a rumor of some toxic substance in the water.  I haven't looked into it, but that's just the point. I don't even know how to check it. Amazon sells 12 million different things, can I check everything before I buy? 

What if Tamiya spray contained lead?  A wallet I bought could have been tanned with formaldehyde.  There are regulations against almost all of those.  But gasoline in farm equipment is unregulated. Old engines would knock with unleaded. They are not as replaced as often as cars. So Americans grew up eating corns and potatoes grown on leaded soil.  

If our cost of living doesn't include regulations, it will simply cost our lives.  Like Arsenic in Victorian wallpapers that killed people (which was never banned). But that's so long ago!  Well, even with regulation, VW found a way to cheat it in their diesel engines. More people dying from asthma didn't seem to concern VW executives. And these are environmentally conscious Germans.  Instead of training pilots, Boeing just programmed 738 to nose dive.  Even with regulation, about 350 people died when pilots could not control two 737s. 

Boeing will pay 50 million dollars total to the victims.  But the fired Boeing CEO will be paid 62 million. He'll live very comfortably after 350 people have died in absolute terror.  Oh, life is good when you play with regulations (or lack there of).  


Boeing 737 Maxs are grounded, today.  Good people don't need regulations. They do the right thing anyway.  But there are greedy fools who are finding new ways to risk other people's lives for money.  VW CEO went to jail, but not the Boeing CEO.  

I agree certain things have to be domestically produced. I'm not defending any government, I'm just saying it's hard to decide what to turn to produce more, and at what cost. (If you are Germany, is 250 tanks enough if Russia decide to invade with 15,000 tanks? What if there is a plague like China? Oh, wait, China produces the most penicillin too...)  Everything is optimized for efficiency, it's hard to change. And expensive. Which is why regulating air traffic is easier (not a manufacturing regulation, but a regulation to protect citizens nonetheless).  Taiwan is 1/3 size of UK, they have 7 deaths so far.  I'd say that's a regulation well done. They didn't need to produce tens of thousands of ventilators in a hurry, because their hospitals weren't full.  Of course, airlines said that's a heavy handed regulation, but hey, more customers are alive.   

At least, Tamiya looks like they don't need regulations.  Not surprised from a company that refuses to sell LiPo, even though it's a small risk.  Tamiya saves money, we get cheaper stuff. Workers in the Philippines get paid good wages.  I would liked to see proper respirators for painters. (Maybe she's spraying water based paint. The Lexan shell painting guy is wearing it)  We we are paying for those masks because not regulating will end up slowly killing workers and consumers, including us.  But there are companies that are not like Tamiya. If the Philippines doesn't regulate worker safety as well as Tamiya does, I'd say shame on them.  


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6 hours ago, Juggular said:

People who do not need law because they are just good people, would think that.  But the world has enough bad people to need regulations

Absolutely (and top post, BTW).  I didn't mean to give the impression I think regulations are bad or should be cut - in fact the opposite, I think if we ban or regulate practices in domestic workplaces, that should extend to goods and services provided from abroad.  In an ideal scenario, it should not be allowable to import goods that are not made in accordance with regulations that we apply domestically.  I don't actually know if anything already covers this (e.g. I know cars sold in the UK must be made in accordance with UK regs as well as EU regs but I don't know if anything states that no part of the supply chain should include child labour or people working 18 hour shifts in dangerous conditions).  I appreciate the reality is way more complex than that and we have to preempt the law of unintended consequences (for example, mass unemployment and poverty if the West was to immediately put a blanket regulation like this in place), but it should be a goal we work towards.

A large part of the Brexit argument in the UK is that our business is being stifled by over-regulation and we'd all be a lot better off if we got rid of some of them.  The sad fact is that a lot of people who most depend on the regulations believe they'll be better off without them.  (I also appreciate it's way more complicated than that and there's always another side to the argument).

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