Scotty and the Equation for Transwarp Beaming

From Andrew:

During the course of the movie, Montgomery Scott (Scotty) mentions that Starfleet confiscated one of his equations. Looking into this, it turns out that he had developed an equation for Transwarp Beaming, whereby it could be possible to beam something from one very distant or fast-moving ship to another. The origins of this equation seem a bit strange, since the wiki says that Scotty got his equation from a future version of Spock, who in turn got it from Scotty.

Whatever the origins of the equation, however, it was confiscated by Starfleet. While it is not made clear what this means, it is likely that Scotty is not allowed to make use of the equation freely and Starfleet is allowed so to do. From the perspective of intellectual property, this seems naturally unreasonable[1].

I cannot find any evidence of this sort of thing happening in real life, but I’m fairly certain it has. However, in the US, equations such as Scotty’s Transwarp Beaming Equation are not protectable under any IP systems (excepting trade secrets, which are not legal constructs)[2].

Sources:
[1]. “Transwarp Beaming”. Wikia, n.d. http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Transwarp_beaming, Sept 22, 2014.
[2]. Class notes.

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