Comment: I believe you're begging the question.

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I believe you're begging the question.

You say: "Don't [the engineers] deserve exclusive control of their individual design? I believe they do."

That's basically a restatement of the question we're arguing about, and a bare assertion of your position, given without argument or evidence. The question we're arguing about is whether or not ideas are property, or at least whether or not the government should treat them as such by assigning ownership and property rights (exclusive control) to ideas.

I've given my defense (under my "Sears didn't steal anything" post) of why ideas are not property. You've neither refuted my arguments nor given any arguments to support your own position. So you're not really engaging the question, you're just repeating your position.

So my answer to your question about the engineers is as follows. No, they don't deserve exclusive control of the designs they created, because if I see the designs they created and start to use my mental copy of their design ideas to produce my own machines, I'm not depriving them of their copies of their design ideas. All I'm doing is competing with them, and competition is the lifeblood of the free market.

Asking the government to intrude on the market by granting patents just denies me my freedom to use what's in my mind and my own hands and property to do as I please, when it doesn't harm others' freedom or property. Like all government intrusions, it harms the free market.