Russians invent … bottles?

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What if every Chinese restaurant suddenly had to start paying royalties to a company that claimed it had just invented cardboard cartons? What if bottlers of beer, juice, water, and soft drinks had to fork over 0.5 percent of their total income to some guys who sauntered over to the government patent office, ponied up a few bucks, and staked out a patent on bottles? In Russia, they’re finding out.

The CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR reports that a little-known Moscow company called Intellekt recently successfully applied for a patent on “glass containers,” and now claims that bottlers, especially brewers, owe them royalties for using their “invention.”

Taking advantage of Russia’s fledgling intellectual property laws to claim ownership of a product that’s been around for years apparently wasn’t much of a challenge. “The drawings that were submitted described a particular kind of geometric curve, detailing a difference in thickness between inside and outside edges,” justifies an official from the patent bureau. “It looked new.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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