WIPO boss says the web should have been patented

Francis Gurry, the Director General of the UN’s World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) wishes that all the internet technology had been patented.

Gurry told the Swiss Press Club that the web would have been better off if it had been locked away in patents, and if every user of the web needed to pay a licence fee to use it, BoingBoing reports.

Effectively it would have meant that the patent holder would have been able to choose which new websites and technologies were allowed, and would have been able to block anything he didn’t like.

Gurry’s argument is that the internet is under-invested and would have attracted a lot more cash if all the technology had been patented.

He said that intellectual property is a very flexible instrument and if the world wide web was patented, the amount of investment that has gone into or would be able to go into basic science would be different.

“If you had found a very flexible licensing model, in which the burden for the innovation of the world wide web had been shared across the whole user community in a very fair and reasonable manner, with a modest contribution for everyone for this wonderful innovation, it would have enabled enormous investment in turn in further basic research,” he said,

He insisted that the IP system is not rigid.

Given the fact that the IP system seems to be dedicated to keeping more technology off the shelves than anything else, we doubt that there would have ever been a world wide wibble.

Everything that sniffed of being an internet would have been sued into a coma.