SEATTLE—Seeking damages from its competitors totaling tens of billions of dollars, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation reportedly filed a lawsuit Tuesday against thousands of charities for infringing on its trademark concept of philanthropy. “It has unfortunately come to our attention that there are charitable organizations across the globe that have been attempting to help people, a clear and unmistakable violation of our 2004 patent on the concept of philanthropic giving,” the foundation wrote in a court filing against more than 5,000 organizations, including Doctors Without Borders, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Helen Keller International, the National Wildlife Federation, Prevent Child Abuse America, the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the Trevor Project, and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. “These organizations must cease and desist all attempts at charity immediately. Only the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is allowed to give food and medical aid to Africa, or help poor kids. Ultimately, we hope this lawsuit will force our competitors to shutter their doors and stop them from flooding the market with cheap knockoff ideas about how to help people. These kinds of intellectual property protections are essential; otherwise, anyone could be giving money to people in need.” The Gates Foundation also announced that it was pursuing legal action against black-market philanthropic givers violating their trademarks by donating blood or giving a couple bucks to a homeless person.