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The analogy breaks down, though - in Google's disfavour and in OP's favour.

OP knew that she had something valuable. But she also thought of it as a free good (libre, not gratis). As I interpret it this is because she knew that her work builds on the work of others.

At Google, they probably knew about the intellectual background of OP's innovation, too. And yet, they tried to patent it. So much about their intellectual honesty.

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