I take the liberty of returning to the topic to some extent by continuing to discuss kites and patents.
I saw a research kite video ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIZr3R5JnEs ) that touched on topics related to line phenomena like flow, weight/load of a really long line and waves along the line (actually it was only one click away on Youtube from Watty Spencers quad video). There the "line" or rather, more general, tether was given a foil-like cross section. This should give the tether much less drag even though the tether/line became much wider (now the reduced drag isn't something Revolutionary, streamlined stays have been around "for ages" and can be found between the wings on a biplane aircraft). The Youtube title, "20km High Kite Flying" seems to be fetched out of the blue not really having anything to do with the contents of the video. Being very picky, isn't the aerodynamical centre (=centre of lift?) drawn awfully far to the rear in the video?
The leading edge of the foil was a long tube in the video. When seeing this I thought why not have all lines of a multi line kite going through this tube (give the inside of the tube a teflon coating or other low friction surface). At least for speed kites this could be something or possibly if you want to make the wind window larger for other kites.
For such a simple idea to let the lines go through a long foil of almost the entire line length of a multi line kite, I'm sure that this thought is not original. After all, everything has been there for a long time: foils, kites and multi lines. (When coming up with this idea I'm standing on the shoulders of others - also in a wider aspect that I live such a life that I'm in a position to have an opportunity to think these thoughts). That someone somewhere has made such idea public in some way is also likely.
Now, assume/pretend that no one discussed this idea in a sport kite context (or have someone already made life more difficult by "protecting" it?), would this post offer any kind of protection against any restriction on freedom of kite designers/builders/users/companies/thoughts (OK, "thoughts" is a bit indirect, but thoughts are shaped by activity, which can be limited by regulations)? Or is it so that this post just made things worse? - is it so that there is no protection and the idea is just there for the taking now? Are there any better ways of making ideas public so that they can't be patented etc... ? Would building an implementation (even a very poor one) and putting it on Youtube, Vimeo, Metacafe... (and try to make it as "searchable" as possible) be better than a post? Any other ways?
B.t.w. trying to understand things or guessing where a certain thing/video/text/reasoning is heading often causes now thoughts to emerge. Use them for good stuff!