Apparently, the message with which the 33 miners in Chile signalled to the world that they are alive was written on a piece of paper and read “Estamos Bien En El Réfugio Los 33” (The 33 are safe in the sanctuary) has been patented. Writes the Argentinian newspaper Los Andes:
The famous phrase “estamos bien en el refugio los 33”, written by one of the miners trapped in the mine San José as a signal of life 17 days after the collapse that trapped them, was entered into the registry of intellectual property of Chile to protect the author’s intellectual rights.
The little paper, written in block-letters with a red pen was exhibited these days by the President Sebastián Piñera, who since then has guarded it like an amulet.
The patent has been entered on the name of the miner who wrote the message, José Ojeda by Chilean writer and sociologist Pablo Huneeus who has done so on request of the former. “My motivation to register the phrase was to see that the president of the Republic not pocket the creation of a worker”, said Huneeus. He further thinks that the president needs to return the paper to the author, since right now he was utilising a stolen property. The president seems to have the view that this creation belongs to all Chileans.
It seems that text and its appearance are now patented. This means no commercialising on T-shirts, mugs, towels or the like without permission of the patent holder.