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The Patent Epidemic

It's wasting companies' money and slowing the development of new products

A man "has a right to use his knife to cut his meat, a fork to hold it; may a patentee take from him the right to combine their use on the same subject?" -- Thomas Jefferson

The order was potentially a big one for KSR International Co. General Motors Corp. (GM ) wanted the Canadian auto parts maker to supply gas pedals for its 2003 Chevrolet and GMC light trucks and sport-utility vehicles. But not just any pedals. GM wanted adjustable ones that could move back and forth to accommodate drivers of different heights. And it wanted the pedals to send an electronic signal, rather than using a mechanical cable, to change the engine speed when a driver stepped on or off the accelerator.