Wish I Could Save Your Life, But That Kind Of Surgery Is Patented...

from the apparently,-it-will-never-stop dept

Patent madness keeps on growing as patent attorneys keep trying to convince people in all different professions that patents are an important strategy to "protect" their interests. It explains the ridiculous explosion in patents in areas that never would have bothered with patents in the past. That's why we see things like tax strategies being patented. Now, Marc has alerted us to an alarming rise in patents for surgery techniques, once again being pushed by patent attorneys. It seems that medical device companies were getting rich patenting their equipment and patent attorneys realized an even better route was to talk to surgeons themselves, convince them to patent any new kind of surgical technique and then sue any device maker who created devices for those types of surgeries. Never mind that lives may be at stake, there's more money to be made and the patent attorneys are thrilled.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    discojohnson, Jul 20th, 2007 @ 1:14pm

    and the laughing

    ...is all the way to the grave, er bank.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    A reader, Jul 20th, 2007 @ 1:25pm

    Hype without backup

    Doctors can't be held liable for performing surgeries - the patent law specifically exempts them from infringement.

    I wish you'd stick to facts instead of generating sensational titles.

     

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  3.  
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    An actual reader, Jul 20th, 2007 @ 1:31pm

    re: Hype without backup

    Reread the article, and follow the links, and them maybe try to re-think your comment.

    Nobody said anything about suing the doctors.

    I think the facts are pretty well represented here.

     

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  4.  
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    Fed Up with This Shit, Jul 20th, 2007 @ 1:33pm

    Complete Bullshit

    this is the stupidest thing I've ever heard. So there is a couple hundred grand in it for you, a reasonable amount of profit. But what of the thousands of people who die because some fucking jack-off in a cheap suit decided to patent a surgical practice designed to save lives? If anyone deserves the rights to the patent I say is the poor bastards that got to play guinea pig the first time Dr. Douche decided to try the procedure. I am fucking tired of hearing about some asshole suing some cock sucker over a "possible infringement of intellectual property". Unless someone has literally stolen the very thought from your head and buried it in their back yard, SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Seems you don't read, Jul 20th, 2007 @ 1:34pm

    He stated "I wish you'd stick to facts instead of generating sensational titles." The title of the article was "Wish I Could Save Your Life, But That Kind Of Surgery Is Patented..." Looks to me like his statement was proper and dead on.

     

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  6.  
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    Another actual reader, Jul 20th, 2007 @ 1:37pm

    Re: re: Hype without backup

    Don't even have to follow the links to see that:

    It seems that medical device companies were getting rich patenting their equipment and patent attorneys realized an even better route was to talk to surgeons themselves, convince them to patent any new kind of surgical technique and then sue any device maker who created devices for those types of surgeries.


    Becasue frankly if this were about doctors stockpiling for a patent war amongst themselves it would not be a tech issue.

     

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  7.  
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    wow yer still stupid, Jul 20th, 2007 @ 1:48pm

    um, in the discussion with the people who think he wasn't reading when he made his comment. Let me clear it up by expressing in words what I thought this article was about when I read the title. I thought it was going to tell me a story about how a doctor could not perform surgy because that particular surgery was patented. This of course is not even close to the case. The title is not appropriate, period.

     

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  8.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Jul 20th, 2007 @ 1:57pm

    What I want to see...

    is the very first time a patient dies because the hospital has a surgical device that could have helped the surgeon but was not allowed to use it becuase the device maker had not paid licesening fees to holder of the patent.


    I can just imagine now:

    Someone will patent a device that is inserted into the chest and assists the heart in keeping a proper rhythm.

    Next will be a patent on a device that monitors your vital statistics while you are unconscious during surgery.

    And before you scream that no one would dare patent such an obvious device remember that some webiste tried to patent the concept of "purchasing items over the internet".

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2007 @ 1:59pm

    Re:

    Duh! How else do you think they are going to get readers?

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    FH Harris, Jul 20th, 2007 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Hype without backup

    Didnt the article say that any equipment made that is designed for that surgery was infringing????? Didnt see that excluded.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    FH Harris, Jul 20th, 2007 @ 2:05pm

    You think there aint

    a patent on pacemakers? Bet there is......

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2007 @ 2:41pm

    Re: What I want to see...

    These are patents on devices and machines. There's no way a doctor can infringe on someone's IP or not perform a surgery unless he has a machine shop in his backyard and he makes his own devices and machines.

    The hospitals still have to buy the devices; and yes, most of them are patented. And for good reason too.

     

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  13.  
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    Nilttab Yllib, Jul 20th, 2007 @ 2:55pm

    This is absolutely...

    DISGUSTING!!!

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Willton, Jul 20th, 2007 @ 3:05pm

    TechDirt: Patents=Evil

    Apparently anytime there is an article that has the word "patent" in it, TechDirt has a knee-jerk reaction to write some inflamatory title and caption on their post that bashes patents and patent lawyers. Keep in mind that lawyers are just like every other service profession: they respond to the desires of the client. If you think people are abusing patent law in the medical field, perhaps you should be pointing your venom at the doctors that initiate these lawsuits.

    I like coming here, but I think there should be a little more thoughtful discussion about patent issues from Mr. Masnick.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    P. logo, Jul 20th, 2007 @ 3:30pm

    Re:

    um, in the discussion with the people who think he wasn't reading when he made his comment. Let me clear it up by expressing in words what I thought this article was about when I read the title. I thought it was going to tell me a story about how a doctor could not perform surgy because that particular surgery was patented. This of course is not even close to the case. The title is not appropriate, period.

    Right on! The problem is that this is completely sensationalist, and now you're getting morons posting about something just from the headline, not reading the abstract and certainly not checking out the articles.

     

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  16.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Jul 20th, 2007 @ 3:32pm

    Re: TechDirt: Patents=Evil

    Apparently anytime there is an article that has the word "patent" in it, TechDirt has a knee-jerk reaction to write some inflamatory title and caption on their post that bashes patents and patent lawyers.

    It's not knee-jerk or inflammatory. We've backed up our position repeatedly with quite detailed support. If you have a problem with it, why don't you point out where the problem is?

    If you think people are abusing patent law in the medical field, perhaps you should be pointing your venom at the doctors that initiate these lawsuits.

    The article itself makes it clear that it's the patent lawyers who have been pushing for this, and we've pointed to numerous examples in the past where it's the patent lawyers initiating this.

    I like coming here, but I think there should be a little more thoughtful discussion about patent issues from Mr. Masnick.

    If you provide a specific example that would help, but I've tried to be as detailed as possible, and I'm at a loss as to what the problem is in this case.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    JP, Jul 20th, 2007 @ 3:50pm

    It makes sense

    Surgeons start using Technology, therefore new procedures are created, why on earth the company with the surgeons that came up with the technology can't patent the procedure ?
    So you spend millions in R&D and after anyone can use your R&D ?

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    PenisMasterVag, Jul 20th, 2007 @ 3:55pm

    Re: and the laughing

    Well, Penis anus vagina cock hands pinkness, sometimes you just have to anus feet colon sexy party bloody fart.

    IMHO vagina anus penis feces.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    hedbanger, Jul 20th, 2007 @ 5:04pm

    exclusivity

    is it a conspiracy to exterminate everyone who's not rich? the rich will have access to any surgical methods. for the rest of us it's too bad. i'm sure insurers will categorically refuse to allow any patented procedures. of course the elite don't want the poor to die off completely, they just want to curtail the lifespan after an individual's peak usefulness has passed.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Sanguine Dream, Jul 20th, 2007 @ 9:33pm

    Re: Re: What I want to see...

    I get it. Thanks for explanation.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Buzz, Jul 20th, 2007 @ 9:33pm

    Kill patents!

    I say we just remove the patent system altogether. Let everyone steal each other's ideas. Then, the true innovators will emerge!

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2007 @ 11:35pm

    Re: Kill patents!

    Let everyone steal each other's ideas.
    You can't steal and idea. You can copy it, but you can't steal it.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Yawn, Jul 21st, 2007 @ 12:20am

    Was going to comment but I got bored when nothing else was discussed but the apropriateness of the title...

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    callmekate, Jul 21st, 2007 @ 1:35am

    Greed

    Greed is consuming us, and our humanity has lost compassion and dignity.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    death by proxy, Jul 21st, 2007 @ 3:06am

    unimpressed

    This is no more ridiculous than the US embargo on Cuba, who developed a Menigitis vacination over 15 years ago but you cannot import because of the political status... how many US and European children have died from this blinkered approach?
    But back to this article, the surgeon or hospital would 'own' the intelectual property for a technique, but it would be unenforcable to stop a equipment manufacturer from producing the tools to replicate the technique...

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Lucretious, Jul 21st, 2007 @ 5:19am

    trial & other types of product litigation attorneys produce absolutely NOTHING of value to society. How it ended up being considered one of the noble professions (ie; Physician, Architect, Engineer, Research Scientist etc) is beyond me.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Buzz, Jul 21st, 2007 @ 10:19am

    Re: Re: Kill patents!

    Oops. You're right. I meant "steal" in the sense of taking it without permission. So, "let everyone copy each other's ideas". :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    kneeL, Jul 21st, 2007 @ 3:25pm

    Re: Re: and the laughing

    Well, Penis anus vagina cock hands pinkness, sometimes you just have to anus feet colon sexy party bloody fart. IMHO vagina anus penis feces. I have to agree with this gentleman above. Very clear, concise, and to the point. And no flamey trolling like most of the commenters here :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Paul, Jul 21st, 2007 @ 3:58pm

    Oh look, Mikes back with more sensationalist headl

    I looked at my RSS feed, saw this headline and instantly thought "Mike".
    Not glad to see you're back.

    So I guess this compares to "Wish I could save your life, but that medicine is patented"

    "Wish I could fix your car, but the part is patented"

    "Wish I could sell you an iPhone, but it is patented"

    Because no one ever licenses patents, right?

     

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  30.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Jul 21st, 2007 @ 9:50pm

    Re: Oh look, Mikes back with more sensationalist h

    So I guess this compares to "Wish I could save your life, but that medicine is patented"

    Actually, no, this doesn't compare. This isn't about those who invent the device patenting it, but doctors patenting surgical techniques and then preventing device makers from making devices that perform that surgery. That's quite different.

    But, your other points don't really support your position either, because why should markets be limited with monopolies when they hurt the market? That's not good for anyone.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    JP, Jul 21st, 2007 @ 11:41pm

    @30
    Most new tech device create new surgical procedure.
    When a company create the device with the help of the surgeons, they are often (surgeons) included either in the patent or with Royalties.
    You would prefer everybody stealing the R&D of everybody ?

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Divad, Jul 22nd, 2007 @ 2:37am

    Patent Surgical Proceedures

    This goes beyond any word I can find above f_____g ridiculous. As attorneys continue to wreak havoc over America, this is a new low

    So now they can win on every side while patient loses: Doctor can't use patented proceedure ... patient dies ... family (needs lawyer) sues doctor (needs lawyer) ... doctor sues patentee (needs lawyer) ... patentee sues lawyer for coming up sith such a stupid idea.

    By the way folks: THE PATIENT DIED!!

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Freelance Employment, Jul 22nd, 2007 @ 7:11am

    Hmm

    It does make you think. This wouldn't be the first thing about patents to see that maybe there should be some changes.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    takeaswag, Jul 22nd, 2007 @ 12:06pm

    My dog had torn cruciate ligaments bilaterally. There are a few different surgeries that have various effects on this ailment, but the one that actually WORKS is called a TPLO (Tibeal Plateau Leveling Osteotomy). This VETERINARY practice is PATENTED! They control it with a patent on the special plate that must be used. It makes this otherwise simple surgery cost $3000 (yes, that is three thousand dollars) PER LEG! Sure am glad I have dog health insurance. He is OK now. (http://glatco.com/floppy)

     

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  35.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Jul 22nd, 2007 @ 9:05pm

    Re:

    You would prefer everybody stealing the R&D of everybody ?

    That makes two huge assumptions, both of which are wrong. You can't "steal" an idea, you can only copy it. Also, it assumes that only one person can come up with an idea and they therefore deserve a monopoly on it. Neither thing is true and therefore your statement doesn't make much sense.

    Companies should compete in the marketplace and you don't need a patent to do that. If you're worried about someone copying your product then you need to get better at what you do (or get better marketing).

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    Vincent Clement, Jul 23rd, 2007 @ 5:22am

    Re:

    I would prefer everybody copying everyone else's R&D. The real innovation is not inventing a good or procedure, it's successfully marketing that invention.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Phil, Jul 23rd, 2007 @ 12:24pm

    Wish I Could Save Your Life, But That Kind Of Surg

    Douchebags. The world would be a much better place if patent lawyers and pro sports agents would just go away.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Phil, Jul 23rd, 2007 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Complete Bullshit

    Nice. Completely bang-on, buddy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    D, Aug 27th, 2008 @ 10:31pm

    Re:

    I am so glad your dog is doing well with having the TPLO procedure. Although it has supposedly helped many dogs, it does come with the risk of plate related cancer. There are a number of dogs who have had the TPLO and the metal implants used had corroded into the bone, causing osteosarcoma, bone cancer. I am aware of a number of dogs who had to have their legs amputated after developing plate related cancer from the TPLO procedure... including my own beloved canine.

    This is a horrendous cancer that metastasizes quickly, causing severe pain and suffering. The surgeons who are so knowledgable on the TPLO procedure have little knowledge on what to do once the dog develops plate related cancer. Sadly, when the cancer metastasizes into inoperable tumors, the only option the vets can offer is euthanasia.
    I paid thousands of dollars to have the TPLO procedures done on my dog, believing it was a wonderful procedure that would help him. I'd like to know if there are any attorneys who believe in the health care and justice for our loved ones who become victims of products that were used by doctors that were suppose to help them... NOT give them cancer! Are there any attorneys who have an interest in providing justice from these companies who produce faulty products that cause cancer? The attorneys I've spoken with recommend I sue the veterinarian who performed the procedure.... I would prefer to sue the damned company who created the faulty metal implants to prevent other dogs and the people who love them from suffering physically, emotionally, and mentally. I paid thousands of dollars for my beloved dog to have procedures done on him that were suppose to help him.... NOT give him cancer!!!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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