|If only the AmeriKat had a patent|
to prevent the EU referendum...
1. A method of affecting the economy of a nation state, the method comprising the holding a referendum in the state on the question of whether the said state should or should not continue an international arrangement.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein the nation state is the state in which the method is protected.
3. The method of either of the foregoing claims, wherein the international arrangement is a treaty arrangement.
4. The method of claim 3, wherein the treaty arrangement comprises membership of the European Union.
5. The method of any of the foregoing claims, wherein the referendum resolves to continue the international arrangement.Five years ago, before the EU referendum was promised by Prime Minister Cameron, the claims would have been novel and, most people would contend, less obvious (although now Claim 6 would of course be obvious to try with a reasonable expectation of success if the polls are anything to go on). The invention would have been capable of industrial application. How so, you might ask? Look at the fact that the invention will, either way, have a profound effect on industry (although not necessarily a positive one for the UK). Our friend continues:
6. The method of any of the foregoing claims, wherein the referendum resolves not to continue the international arrangement."
“If I had had this patent, I could have brought a claim to prevent its infringement by either enjoining the holding of a referendum at all, or, if I favoured a particular result, enjoining the making of the wrong decision – whichever one I thought that might be. Or alternatively, licensing it to the Conservative Government perhaps for a fair royalty which might be measured as the price of overcoming internal difficulties in a party by writing a manifesto acceptable to its members at a time when it is thought that you have no chance of actually being elected and having to carry it through.”Unfortunately, as our friend notes, European conventions on IP (i.e. the European Patent Convention) deny the UK this freedom. So what is our conclusion? That we should have another referendum on exiting the EPC! Perhaps we should call that Epcit.