Latest Study Highlights How Damaging Intellectual Property Has Been To Biotech

from the more-evidence dept

TorrentFreak alerts us to the latest in a long line of research that highlights just how damaging the intellectual property system has been to innovation. This isn't new, of course. We've been pointing to tons of research on this subject for years, but it's great to see some more to add to the pile. And this isn't just a couple of folks with an opinion either -- but a seven year study, involving a large interdisciplinary team of folks examining all aspects of intellectual property, with the main focus being on the biotech industry. The report hits on a few key themes we've highlighted over the years:
The current era of intellectual property is waning. It has been based on two faulty assumptions made nearly three decades ago: that since some intellectual property (IP) is good, more must be better; and that IP is about controlling knowledge rather than sharing it. These assumptions are as inaccurate in biotechnology – the field of science covered by this report – as they are in other fields from music to software.
The full report is a good read. It's well researched and documented, and points out that listening to IP lawyers alone, or just looking at IP laws is a huge mistake in analyzing the overall impact of IP:
An analysis of IP laws alone gives a distorted understanding of how IP facilitates innovation and dissemination. Such an analysis must be complemented by an understanding of business and governmental practice as well as the public and private institutions and entities that create, grant and govern IP.
There's plenty more in the report, and it's all footnoted, and some of the additional research is new to me and will be fun to explore over the next few weeks.

However, while the report's description of the problems is dead on, the report runs into trouble when it gets to the "and what do we do about it" section. It talks a lot about "new IP" which is vaguely defined, and involves a lot of wishy-washy statements about trust and collaboration and openness. It basically suggests that a bunch of different parties all have to start acting differently but doesn't necessarily explain why or how that will work. That seems... difficult, and a tad idealistic. This is really too bad, given how solid the earlier part of the report is. It's almost as if the group putting together the report saw all the problems, but couldn't come up with really concrete solutions. That's unfortunate, given that plenty of folks have shown real world examples of how the system can work just fine by simply removing IP from the equation, and watching the business models that result. Overall, this is an excellent addition to the literature in looking at the problems, but comes up short when it gets to the solutions side of the discussion.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    NeoConBushSupporter, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 12:26pm

    That explains it

    I was wondering why people still die? Seriously, I think biotech is doin pretty well in serving mankind and turning a tidey profit . . . thank you very much.


    VOTE McCain 2008 - for change your already familiar with

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 1:32pm

    What "study"? Reads somewhat like an editorial by "peaceniks" who hold hands at meetings and sing "Kumbaya".

    Heck, at least techDirt relies upon actual data, and not anecdotes.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Dosquatch, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 2:04pm

    Re:

    This report (Danger, Will Robinson, here there be PDF files)

    Kumbaya at its best isn't close to 44 pages with references.

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 2:38pm

    Instead of studying how damaging IP is why don't researchers try to be innovative?

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    jim moore, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 3:25pm

    These are the questions to ask.

    IP is government granted monopoly.
    Will the market work better with more government granted monopolies or fewer?
    Will the market work better if the government granted monopoly last longer or shorter?
    Should we even let the government grant monopolies?

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Dosquatch, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 3:51pm

    Re:

    Instead of complaining how restrictive the chain is, why doesn't the dog just run free?

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 5:17pm

    Another hogwash from Mikey

    Tell it to your grandma - she might actually believe it

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Nobody, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 5:32pm

    Re: Another hogwash from Mikey

    When I saw the title, first I thought it was about that company from Jurassic Park, BioSyn. Then I thought it was about the computer manufacturer Biostar. Turns out it's about biotechnology.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Ricochet Rabbit, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 6:07pm

    Re: That explains it

    NeoConBushSupporter -> "I think biotech is doin pretty well in serving mankind"

    Yes, this is very true. For example they are dumping tons of pharmaceuticals into the water system and not even charging you for it. What more could you possibly ask for ?

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 7:25pm

    Re: That explains it

    For example they are dumping tons of pharmaceuticals into the water system and not even charging you for it.

    ZOMG UR DRINKING OUR IP! SUE!! SUE!!!!

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Sep 18th, 2008 @ 9:23pm

    Blya mudaki

    thats it for today
    Have a good night punks

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Vincent Clement, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 6:13am

    Re: These are the questions to ask.

    The government granted monopoly should be as short as possible. It should not be a means of replacing innovation with a guaranteed stream of revenue. There is absolutely no reason why copyright should extend beyond the life of the creator. How can a dead person innovate?

     

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


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