Long-ish personal anecdote.
Went to help my brother collect his new RV yesterday.
The drive wasn’t any longer than an SF to LA or SF to Portland run, which I’ve done quite literally hundreds of times, but oh boy, do I hurt today.
I feel like I have been hauling sheet goods back and forth in the workshop all day.
I don’t get that at all.
On the way home I stopped at Woodcraft and picked up some Freud router bits for some custom cabinetry I am building.
Which got me to thinking about intellectual property.
The packaging is obviously covered by copyright laws.
The user manual is covered by copyright laws.
How the packaging works is covered by patent law.
The Freud logo is covered by trademark law.
The router bits themselves are covered by no less…
than patent law for how they cut
than trademark law for their distinctive Freud red colour
than copyright law for the shape of the router profile.
And then all the trade secrets about how the cutter is forged, sharpened, the non-stick coating is bonded to the metal, and the tungsten-carbide is bonded to the edges of the cutting surface.
Which is crazy!
Once you throw away the accoutrement of the product, i.e. the manual, the storage carton, the sticky warning labels, what you are left with is a chunk of metal that were I to recklessly melt it down in the workshop would be worth just a few cents.
At what point does a lump of metal start to be protected by law once it has been shaped?