From the Economist’s latest survey of patents and technology:

The granting [of] patents “inflames cupidity”, excites fraud, stimulates men to run after schemes that may enable them to levy a tax on the public, begets disputes and quarrels betwixt inventors, provokes endless lawsuits…The principle of the law from which such consequences flow cannot be just.

– The Economist, 1851 in The Economist, 2005