Biopiracy is an accusation that has been leveled at multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporations that engage in the practice of traveling to biologically-diverse third-world countries, accumulating traditional or indigenous knowledge about native wildlife, and patenting the "discoveries" as their own. This article will examine the validity of biopiracy claims and how some have reacted to suspicions of unscrupulous business practices.
The Patent Act focuses on rewarding innovation in the useful arts to encourage the progress of science. One requirement for patent eligibility is proof that the invention be novel. If an invention was either known or used in this country, or patented or described in a printed publication in the US or a foreign country, then the subject matter of the patent application is considered to be "anticipated" as information already in the public domain, and not a scientific advancement. 
But what if the invention … Read the rest
The increasing availability of broadband Internet has led to the popularization of virtual worlds. As of September 17, 2007, Linden Research, Inc. ("Linden Lab") boasted 9,562,490 "residents" in Second Life, an Internet community modeled after real world environments and mimicking real life interactions.  Those who are more interested in escaping reality can happily immerse themselves in Paragon City, where a mere $29.99 membership and a $14.99 monthly fee allows an online gamer to battle villains and connect with other players as a spandex-clad superhero in NCsoft's "City of Heroes" ("CoH").  Market analysts predict that online games will yield $11.5 billion of revenues worldwide in 2011 at a 25.2 percent compound annual growth rate.  Virtual worlds have become the newest medium in which Internet denizens explore, play, and interact.
A virtual economy is present in most virtual worlds. An inhabitant of the world can exchange many kinds of … Read the rest