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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

SAY WHAT? :Desperate Correspondence on Patent Saga




Abstracts from letters from Anna Badkhen in Moscow, Russia, to her friend Jen Tracy in Prague, Czech Republic.


Nov. 1, 2000


Dearest Jen,


You may have heard of the scandal surrounding Intellect, a company specializing in legal advice on industrial property rights that took out patents on all sorts of glass and plastic bottles and cans earlier this year. A rather bizarre thing to do, don't you think? Especially since glass bottles apparently have been around since 1500 B.C. In any case, it's all legal, apparently, and ever since big-time breweries started paying 0.5 percent royalties to Intellect on every bottle and can they sell, beer's become really expensive. Could you please send over a couple of cases of good old Czech draft, and I'll pay you back when we next see each other? It's relaxing to have a drink after work from time to time.


Love, Anna


Feb. 4, 2001


Dearest Jen,


Once again, thanks so much for the beer; I really appreciate your understanding of the situation. It's good stuff, too, and really takes my mind off the hardships of life, such as, for example, the running water. Thing is, right before the last two cases you sent cleared customs, Intellect secured patents on plumbing, so that now the house maintenance offices have to pay huge royalties to the company. Anyway, everyone has huge water and heating bills now. In fact, half of the beer you sent was stolen at customs, whose representatives claimed they needed liquid to wash. I think it's hilarious.


Best, Anna


Aug. 14, 2001


Jen, dear,


It was great to take showers in your Prague apartment last week. Boy, I have not done that since the maintenance offices cut off running water in May! The news is that they have now also abolished toilets that use water, partially because of the water bills, partially because Intellect got the patent for the sewage system, and so after barely 200 years of existence, the toilets had to go. You can only imagine the smell.


Love, Anna


Jan. 2, 2002


Jen,


Thanks for that electric heater you sent, but I don't have much use for it, really, since Intellect secured that patent on electricity last month. News flash: Intellect took out the patent for ceilings yesterday. Now everyone who has ceilings has to pay. People are moving to the suburbs to live in tents. Doesn't make much difference where you live now that plumbing, sewage and heat are history.


There's a lot of talk about the Apocalypse, and religious sects have become increasingly popular. Five smelly, unshaven men were introduced to me as messiahs during the course of last week. I've also heard reports of cannibalism in a village north of Moscow. Everyone eats raw meat.


More later, Anna


Sept. 30, 2003


INTELLECT TOOK OUT PATENTS ON LOWERCASE LETTERS. DOESN'T MAKE MUCH DIFFERENCE SINCE NOT EVERYONE REMEMBERS HOW TO WRITE.


ANNA


AUG. 4, 2004


2 KEP THS SHRT: LATEST PATENT WAS ON VOWELS. XPENSES 2 HIGH, NOT ENOUGH $.


PLS HLP!


BDKHN