There will be times when your family and friends are seriously questioning this new career path. Don’t worry about what these people think. Most of your friends and family have never been entrepreneurs and will never be. the Intellectual property laws were originally designed to protect the rights of writers, graphic designers, coders, inventors and other types of content creators. The laws that are meant to protect intellectual property—not unlike pretty much every other law known to man—can, and are, taken advantage of. Sometimes, it comes down to the almighty dollar. Other times, it’s about politics and investors. Unfortunately, STEM fields aren’t immune to any of these pitpalls.
Where there is money to be made, there will always be people waiting to pounce. Most recently, there was Martin Shkreli: the “entrepreneur” who jacked up the price of AIDS/HIV medication 5,000% percent literally overnight, but he isn’t alone.
Here’s a look at some of the strangest and most absurd intellectual property abuses in the history of science
If you didn’t hear about it, in 2014, the internet unleashed its wrath on a New York designer who filed a trademark application for the pi symbol followed by a period. Not only was his application approved, but the man, Paul Ingrisano, from “Pi Productions Corp,” took it a step further—issuing a series of cease and desist orders.
That, in and of itself, shouldn’t be surprising. After all, no matter how you feel about giving any one person the exclusive rights to any one symbol, no one could blame a person for protecting their intellectual property. However, Ingrisano was reaching far beyond the law; He threatened legal action against people who weren’t explicitly using his trademark. Rather, the designs—many of which, predate his 2012 application by several years—simply used the pi symbol in some capacity.