Rekall’s Intellectual Property
An intellectual property concern exists with the memory implants of Rekall. If Rekall implants the false memories into your mind, based on a story that’s planned in advance, who do the memories belong to, you or Rekall? Someone could essentially reverse engineer Rekall’s stories, creating a knock-off version that has the same adventures and characters. There doesn’t seem to be any way for Rekall to protect their intellectual property, since that would mean that it would have to make it illegal for people to talk about their memories after Rekall, which isn’t mentioned in the movie.
We can assume Rekall have several “template” stories that they use for their “Ego Trip” memory implants. We see Quaid being offered the following choices for the alternate identities:
A-14 MILLIONAIRE PLAYBOY
A-15 SPORTS HERO
A-16 INDUSTRIAL TYCOON
A-17 SECRET AGENT
However, we can assume these are not the only identities they offer. The choices start off at A-14, which implies that 1-13 would also exist as choices. Also, “Millionaire Playboy” seems it is designed for men, implying that these might be the choices offered only to the male customers of Rekall. This means there could be dozens if not hundreds of other story lines a person could experience.
However, even if this is the case, one could still simply interview people who have gone through Rekall and gather all the possible stories, and then resell them. As the memories are tailored to the individual, all the characters in the memories are designed to be of maximum appeal to the individual experiencing it. Hence, it is the individual’s mind which shapes the world of the memory, such as the appearance of the love interest(s). It is impossible to copyright these characters using today’s copyright laws, as there is no concrete description for each of the characters, since they are molded to the preference of the individual. It might be possible to patent the technology that allows Rekall to mold an environment to a persons innermost desires, but there is no mention of such a patent existing in the movie.
To create the illusion, Rekall uses the brain of the individual, and their desires, hopes and wishes. This means that part of the work in creating the memory is done by the individual themselves, hence the Intellectual Property would be at least partly owned by the individual. This would make it difficult for Rekall or any such similar firm to protect their intellectual property, according to today’s laws.