Regarding patenting, I always thought maybe it was because from the start the formula was pretty well out in the open--open source. Can you patent open source stuff? I'm pretty sure you cant, but dont get me wrong, I dont know what I am talking about. I cant see someone trying to patent something open source, like an OS or anything if it's code was open from the start. How could they prove they had come up with it in the first place, right?
Yea. From idea to practical application, this developed as a community project. I am very glad it took that route and congratulate Dave and others for promoting and sharing the idea. It is, as Ryan says, very much like an open-source project with people adding their tweaks and experiences.
There would be nothing to stop anyone from pumping in money, playing with the chemistry and (if they crack it) patenting and selling a particular paste "formulation" which seemed to work well on ALL kinds of plastics (not just old computer cases). In other words, you open the jar, dip your brush in and paint it on and it de-yellows anything. As plastics do differ, that would be some high chemistry and is a long way from where we are now.
But for computer cases only, the market is a lot narrower. It's possible there could be a small ebay market for an easy "open and paint-on" commercial product just for computer cases, but any manufacturer would need to do a lot of R+D to give it shelf-life, and get the raw ingredients in bulk so as to sell it at reasonable cost. They would also need to be prepared for lots of complaints from people that stuff up, don't use it as directed and blame the product.
For those reasons I don't think a packaged solution would be feasible. Getting and mixing the raw ingredients is dead easy (you can buy them over the counter) and if you use a low concentration of peroxide it's also safe. Making up the paste is easier than cooking most meals! It also seems pretty robust in that it works well with most vintage computer cases both in sunlight and with lamps.