World Trade: Surrender of a Pirate

A U.S. cartoonist, poking fun at the Soviet propensity for stealing the inventions of other nations, once created a Russian inventor named Regus Patoff, an acronym for the omnipresent "Reg. U.S. Pat. Off." Last week, after decades of pirating others' ideas without so much as a thank you, the Russians joined the Paris Convention of 1883, the pact under which 67 nations agree to honor one another's patents and trademarks. In the future the Russians will have to pay the same licensing fees as everyone else when they cast a covetous eye on a new product or process. In...

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