The Multinational Monitor

October 2001 - VOLUME 22 - NUMBER 10


T H E    L A W R E N C E    S U M M E R S    M E M O R I A L   A W A R D

THE LAWRENCE SUMMERS MEMORIAL AWARD*

The October 2001 Lawrence Summers Memorial Award* goes to the Australian intellectual property office.
In May, the patent office issued a patent on a “circular transportation facilitation device” — the wheel — to John Keogh, a patent lawyer who filed the application to show how overbroad a new Australian patent law is.

Source: Nathan Cochrane, “Melbourne Man Patents the Wheel,” The Age (Australia), July 2, 2001. http://www.theage.com.au/news/state/2001/07/02/FFX0ADFPLOC.html

 

*In a 1991 internal memorandum, then-World Bank economist Lawrence Summers argued for the transfer of waste and dirty industries from industrialized to developing countries. "Just between you and me, shouldn't the World Bank be encouraging more migration of the dirty industries to the LDCs (lesser developed countries)?" wrote Summers, who went on to serve as Treasury Secretary during the Clinton administration. "I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that. ... I've always thought that underpopulated countries in Africa are vastly under polluted; their air quality is vastly inefficiently low [sic] compared to Los Angeles or Mexico City." Summers later said the memo was meant to be ironic.