ACLU, Cancer Patients Sue Over Patenting Of Genes

from the big-news dept

For years, we've been among those who have questioned how the hell anyone (let alone the US Patent Office) can justify the concept of patenting genes. Yet, the Patent Office has continued to issue such patents, even as they have been shown to cause significant problems in diagnosing and treating certain illnesses. Finally, however, it appears that the concept of patenting genes is about to get tested in court. The ACLU has organized a group of cancer patients who have had treatments and medical analysis limited due to gene patents held by the company Myriad Genetics, and brought the issue to court. This is a big deal... and while the case and the resulting appeals will certainly take many years, this is going to be a case well worth watching.


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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:00am

    More examples of how intellectual property only hinders innovation and harms society. Nothing that was patented was "innovative" it was simply stolen from nature and intellectual property prevents anyone from doing anything with it.

     

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      Hulser, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:17am

      Re:

      This is just my opinion, but I think that if you were trying to explain to the average person about the harm that bad patents can have, using terms like "stolen from nature" is going to turn people off and convince most of them you're a radical nutjob.

      If your position is that the concept of patents, as it was originally intended, is basically sound, but that we just need to fix the system which applies patents, then I would 1) agree with you and 2) suggest you don't use such terms if you're trying to convince people of this position. (You're probably doing more hard than good.)

      And if your position that the concept of patents is itself wrong, then 1) I don't agree with you and 2) suggest that when you're trying to convince people of your position you make it clear that your position is radical and different from the group of people who just want to fix the current system.

       

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      :Lobo Santo, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:31am

      Re:

      The word you're looking for is "copied" (you fucking moron); as in: "...it was simply COPIED from nature..." (you ignorant fucking moron).

       

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      angry dude, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:51am

      Re:

      "it was simply stolen from nature"

      Your brains were stolen by nature, mindless techdirt lemming-punk creature

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:14am

      Re:

      Yeah. I agree. It is obvious that the microprocessor came straight from nature. While we are at it, so did the microwave oven and the rifle. Same with the internal combustion engine. All these things are obviously from nature. Why, I got an internal combustion engine off the tree in my back yard last week...

      Time to go get my meds now.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:57am

        Re: Re:

        If you have an organically grown internal combustion engine then you are right. If not, you're just a fucktard without a clue on how to make an analogy.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:57am

      Re:

      IP rights do a lot more harm than good.

       

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    Hulser, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:05am

    The power if images

    I'm not holding my breath, but perhaps the image of dying cancer patients will be enough to motivate real change in the Patent Office. Bad patents affect all kinds of industries, but the impact can seem rather esoteric to the general public. But can you imagine the spectacle it would be if they actually had a Congressional hearing and the ACLU brought in chemo-therapy stricken cancer patients to testify? (You thought car company execs who flew in on private jets looked bad...) The media would have a field day and we might actually get some good change. One can hope.

     

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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:09am

    "The media would have a field day" It's possible, or our corrupt media (ran by big corporations) might just ignore it. You never know.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:10am

    It wasn't stolen from nature. It is still there, the patent didn't deprive the genes.

     

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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:16am

    Or our corrupt media might put a spin on it that somehow favors intellectual property. Never underestimate the conflicts of interest that our media posses.

    "It wasn't stolen from nature. It is still there, the patent didn't deprive the genes."

    And yet, despite the clear harm that intellectual property is causing and the fact that the people who stole this idea from nature and patented it to prevent anyone else from doing research on it, there are people here still trying to defend this intellectual property nonsense with poor arguments. I guess this goes to show you that there really aren't good arguments for intellectual property which is why the media and such censors all the problems it's causing society.

    The point is that those who have the patent on the gene didn't come up with any new ideas, they STOLE them. Just like you may consider it STEALING if someone downloads a game that copyright game without paying. The game is still there, the downloading of the game didn't deprive the existence of the game, but you may still consider it stealing.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 11:02am

      Re:

      No, actually anyone with common sense would consider the game analogy copyright infringement, not stealing. So I think the word "stole" in reference to the genes doesn't really work. But your point of the idea of the "gene" not being an original idea of their own does point out the sheer retardedness of our patent system.

       

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      Hulser, May 13th, 2009 @ 11:12am

      Re:

      Just like you may consider it STEALING if someone downloads a game that copyright game without paying.

      Sure, you may consider copying a game without paying as stealing, but...you'd be wrong. You can't steal something that isn't owned. Contrary to what is implied by the term "intellectual property", IP is not owned. It is merely a right granted by the government to a legal entity. You must be new around here if you don't understand the distinction.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 7:38pm

      Re:

      I have patented gravity. You are no longer allowed to use it. What you're still using it? That's willful infringement. Pay up.

       

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    Tgeigs, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:17am

    Next

    Interesting book called "Next" by Michael Crichton that partially dealt with gene theft/patenting/IP. Flawed and fictional, but interesting.

     

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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:19am

    The idea was STOLEN from nature, just because stealing the idea doesn't deprive the existence of the idea doesn't mean that it wasn't stolen. If I "stole" a patented idea from some company and started selling it for profit without paying royalties, you may still consider it stealing despite the fact that doing so did not deprive the existence of the patent.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:23am

    So downloading copyright material without permission is stealing?

     

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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:23am

    "suggest you don't use such terms"

    Being that this isn't the corrupt media, I suggest you don't try to censor anything that you disagree with just because you think that the censorship of opposing ideas maybe the best way to propagate your own. It's bad enough our mainstream media already does this.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:32am

      Re: "Suggest you don't use such terms"

      Suggesting ways to strengthen your argument by presenting it in rational, clear terms is not censoring.

      Key word is suggest.
      Censoring would be Mike not liking what you are saying and deleting your comments.

       

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      Tgeigs, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:35am

      Re:

      He didn't try to censor, he tried to suggest, and I agree with him/her. I know I'm what people refer to as a conspiracy nut, but I still try to use reason and logic in my arguments.

      I tend to agree w/your points, but your statements also come across as juvenile. If you want to reach, you need to present in a pallitable(sp?) way.

       

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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:26am

    "So downloading copyright material without permission is stealing?"

    It is no more stealing than what these people did when they stole "ideas" from nature by patenting them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:29am

    So it is stealing?

     

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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:34am

    No, it was STOLEN from nature. There is nothing wrong with copying it, but trying to make profits from it and preventing anyone else from doing anything with it is STEALING, just like you may consider me copying a copyright game as stealing. There is no real difference even if you arbitrarily define it as such. You can't have it both ways, that's called a double standard and proves your bad logic.

     

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      :Lobo Santo, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:57am

      Re:

      To deny somebody else something isn't stealing (...moron!)

      Let me help you out: Stealing - "the illegal taking of another person's property"

      Denial something to somebody: "deny," block, cock-block, being a dick, being a douche, being "Bettawrekonize," withholding (etc, and so on.)

      I'm an ignorant Mexican, and I know that, what's your excuse?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 11:09am

        Re: Re:

        I'm an ignorant Mexican

        And your post proves that perfectly. Thanks for doing everyone else's job for them.

         

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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:36am

    "Suggesting ways to strengthen your argument by presenting it in rational, clear terms is not censoring."

    You are TRYING to censor my ideas by suggesting that I not present them. You are doing everything in your power to censor my ideas, it's just that you don't have the power to censor them.

    "Censoring would be Mike not liking what you are saying and deleting your comments."

    Perhaps you WOULD censor it if you could, perhaps the only reason you are not deleting my comments is because you have no choice.

     

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      Tgeigs, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:57am

      Re:

      "You are TRYING to censor my ideas by suggesting that I not present them"

      Sigh. No, you're just being inflamatory.

      –verb (used with object)
      6. to examine and act upon as a censor.
      7. to delete (a word or passage of text) in one's capacity as a censor.

      AC does not have the power to act upon as a censor, since presumably he is not an admin of this site, which does not moderate comments, ergo no censoring is possible. AC also did not attempt to delete a word or passage of text, nor does he, again, have the capacity as a censor.

      You don't know the language you're speaking. Sadly, that isn't an uncommon problem.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:03am

      Re: Suggesting

      No need to "censor" comments like these. Actually the reverse is true, they clarify the point.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 11:16am

      Re:

      As much as I try to refrain from personal attacks, you are being a whiny douche. Shut Up.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 11:25am

        Re: Re:

        Awesome. First we have "radical nutjob" and now we have "whiny douche." I am taking notes. I might want to use these clever phrases in the future. You could even mix and match...

        whiny radical nutjob

        radical whiny douche

         

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      Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 2:44pm

      Re:

      Troll. That's all you're doing. Being a Troll. Y'wan' fries wi'dat?

       

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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:45am

    "Just because we hold the original version does not mean that since you made a "copy" that is is not steeling."

    So then you agree that depriving something is not necessary for something to be considered stolen. So then these people did steal ideas from nature, just because they may not have deprived the existence of the gene doesn't mean it's not stolen.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:49am

    Unless one of the plaintiffs has a reasonable apprehension that he/she/it is about to get slapped with a lawsuit for patent infringement (by filing a declaratory judgement action...which has not been done), I have substantial doubts this case will proceed past the initial pleadings stage.

    Instead of the courts, the venue most likely to accord the relief sought is Congress. It has done so in the past with respect to "surgical procedures". Moreover, the circumstances regarding how the work on the inventions were funded, together with who are the owners of the patents, would give advocates before Congress serious fodder.

     

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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:52am

    "Your brains were stolen by nature, mindless techdirt lemming-punk creature"

    Feel free to refute what I said instead of making meaningless comments.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:56am

    Stealing

    If you took a pencil from work --- is that stealing?
    If you mugged a woman on the street and took her purse --- is that stealing?
    If you wrote a article for the NY Times because of blog entry interested you --- is that stealing?
    If you put wheel on the front of your dirt box to make it easier to move --- is that stealing?
    If you Madoff with your investors money --- is that stealing?
    If you baked Biscuits for your kids that taste just like Red Lobster's --- Is that stealing?
    If you liked the design of the neighbors porch and built one just like it --- is that stealing?
    If you overheard two women at a coffee shop talking about your wife's new boyfriend --- is that stealing?
    If you borrowed your brothers legal copy of Gladiator and watched it --- is that stealing?
    If you copied a passage out of your classmates book report --- is that stealing?
    If you downloaded Ol' Yeller off of Mini Nova an watched it --- Is that stealing?
    If you had a great idea on how to improve your companies product and sat on it ---- is that stealing?
    If you gave that idea to your competitors --- is that stealing?
    If you sold that idea --- is that stealing?
    If you sold them the prototype --- is that stealing?
    -----------
    How can you steal something that is not a solid object that you can touch and feel?

    Where is the line between stealing, theft, plagiarism, and the normal evolution of thought and technology.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:58am

    Would the tests even exist were it not for the patent? Would anyone had bothered to do the work?

    So far, however, two panels of government experts who have looked at the issue have not found significant impediments to research or medical care caused by gene patents. A 2006 report from the National Research Council found that patented biomedical research “rarely imposes a significant burden for biomedical researchers.”


    the biggest obstacle that gene patents present is one of cost.

    Without that cost, would the test even exist?

     

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      Michael, May 13th, 2009 @ 12:07pm

      Re:

      Without the cost of a person's life, would the test even exist? They did the work first, then got the patent. The patent now prevents others from continuing that work.

      It seems the cost still rests on people's lives and not the corporation.

      As a new entrepreneur in the colored contact lenses business, I went ahead and patented hazel green eyes, so if you have them without buying our lenses, you'll soon see some court documents headed your way - we can settle up front for $1.7 million in damages if you just sign here...

       

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    Anonymous12, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:59am

    @Anonymous Coward: No one owns the human body period.
    Or do you endorse slavery? You know what you are a coward.

     

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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:00am

    "If your position is that the concept of patents, as it was originally intended, is basically sound, but that we just need to fix the system which applies patents"

    This is a close approximation of my position and I have even made several useful suggestions in other threads on how to alleviate the problems with our current patent system.

    "And if your position that the concept of patents is itself wrong, then 1) I don't agree with you and 2) suggest that when you're trying to convince people of your position you make it clear that your position is radical and different from the group of people who just want to fix the current system."

    While I may not necessarily agree with this position I don't think that simply holding such a position that disagrees with you makes one a "radical nutjob" or that people will necessarily think of someone as such just because they disagree.

     

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      Hulser, May 13th, 2009 @ 11:07am

      Re:

      While I may not necessarily agree with this position I don't think that simply holding such a position that disagrees with you makes one a "radical nutjob" or that people will necessarily think of someone as such just because they disagree.

      You appear to have misread my comments. I did not say that you are a radical nutjob or that because you disagree with a particular position you are a radical nutjob. I simply stated that claiming that anything that was patented was "stolen from nature" will make you sound like a radical nutjob to the average person.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 11:13am

        Re: Re:

        I really like the sound of "radical nutjob." If you could use that in interstate commerce you might be able to get a trademark on it. Hulser's Radical Nutjob (TM) line of clothing. Be a radical nutjob with genuine Hulser Radical Nutjob (TM) clothes. Be the envy of all the other radical nutjobs down at the clinic by wearing Genuine Radical Nutjob pants and pullovers. See the new summer fashion line, coming soon to stores near you.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 2:36pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Way back when I lived at the beach and was a surfer dude, this surfer chick gave me a Radical Nutjob. But that was so long ago I hear that she now has kids that can vote. Does that qualify as preexisting art? I mean really, what she did was artful. Inspirational even. And at the time I thought surely noone has had such a freaking awesome job done on them before.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:04am

    Makes no sense to me.

     

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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:05am

    "AC does not have the power to act upon as a censor"

    I never said he is successfully censoring my ideas. He is trying to prevent me from expressing my ideas, that can be considered censoring.

    " an official who examines books, plays, news reports, motion pictures, radio and television programs, letters, cablegrams, etc., for the purpose of suppressing parts deemed objectionable on moral, political, military, or other grounds."

    (dictionary.com)

    The purpose of suggesting that I not present an ideas is to suppress it.

    "You don't know the language you're speaking. Sadly, that isn't an uncommon problem."

    One doesn't have to be successful at something in order to try.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:15am

      Re:

      " an official who examines books, plays, news reports, motion pictures, radio and television programs, letters, cablegrams, etc., for the purpose of suppressing parts deemed objectionable on moral, political, military, or other grounds."

      That's of the NOUN VERSION, which isn't how you were using the word, but thank you AGAIN for displaying your ignorance of the English language. Suggesting you reformulate your argument to make it more palletable isn't censoring. I'm starting to lose my patience here. Suggesting that using terms like "stolen from nature" is going to turn people off and convince most of them you're a radical nutjob, which is EXACTLY what was said isn't attempting to suppress your point of view, it's telling you that you're coming off like a tool instead of successfully arguing your point.

      "One doesn't have to be successful at something in order to try."

      The point is that you aren't trying hard enough, or at all. Try harder, or you risk being ignored.

       

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      Grae (profile), May 13th, 2009 @ 12:30pm

      Re:

      Bettawrekonize: One doesn't have to be successful at something in order to try.
      You make me smile.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 12:36pm

      Re:

      I swear, you sound like that character from Monty Python's Holy Grail, to wit: "Help! I'm bein' oppressed!!"

      You have the right to your ideas, but nobody else has to agree with you, OR to refrain from commentary and advise.

      In short, get over yourself.

       

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    AnonCow, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:05am

    I'm 42. That means I have prior art from 1967. If the gene companies want to see proof, give me a hot female intern and a conference room...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:05am

    This particular issue could be solved simply by updating patent law stating anything that occurs in nature cannot be patented.

     

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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:08am

    "Let me help you out: Stealing - "the illegal taking of another person's property"

    Let me help you.

    "to appropriate (ideas, credit, words, etc.) without right or acknowledgment."

    "To present or use (someone else's words or ideas) as one's own."

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/stealing?r=75

    He is patenting an idea, using it as if it's his OWN idea by preventing anyone else from using it. It's not his own idea and hence he has no right to do so.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:23am

      Re:

      A gene found in the wilds of Nefarnia is first identified by Myriad Genetics is patented by them and no one else is allowed to use it.

      A rock type found in the wilds of Nefarnia is first identified by Joe Rockhound. He gets no patent, no exclusive use. Even if he makes ones just like them in a lab.

      What is the difference?

      Wonder what would happen if Merck had first identified a compound consisting of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms?

       

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    Anonymous12, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:11am

    @Anonymous Coward:Would the tests even exist were it not for the patent? Would anyone had bothered to do the work?

    Then let them patent the PROCESS NOT THE GENES.

     

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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:11am

    and he should have NO right to prevent others from utilizing an idea HE DIDN'T COME UP WITH. So it's stolen because he "appropriate (ideas, credit, words, etc.) without right." Even if the government allowed it, even if it's "legal" because some government arbitrarily declared it so, it's still stealing. Just because something is legal doesn't mean it's not stealing. The government can arbitrarily declare it legal to take your house, that doesn't make it any less "stealing."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:12am

    Maybe if...

    they had come up with some manipulation of those genes as a treatment for a type of cancer, then they could get a patent on that treatment/process. Trying to patent on a gene sequence, IMO, would be like the guy that discovered Niagra Falls trying to patent Niagra Falls. It was there before he found it. It's there in spite of his discovery. It will be there long after he is. If they really wanted to control that gene sequence, then they shouldn't have published the finding. Chances are good that someone else would have discovered the gene sequence in time. They just didn't leverage their head start.

    Also, IMO, the clerk(s) that issued the patent should be fired.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:12am

    So file sharing is stealing?

     

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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:15am

    "Also, IMO, the clerk(s) that issued the patent should be fired."

    I agree. What an idiot. He probably barley even understood what he was issuing. Just someone who recently got the job and will find another job somewhere else in another few months.

     

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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:15am

    So what does he care. No accountability whatsoever.

     

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    TheStuipdOne, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:17am

    I patented your genes

    now stop using them or pay me huge fines

    Seriously though, how in the world can you PATENT something that occurs in nature? Yes, you spend gobs and gobs of money researching the genetics of breast cancer. I truly appreciate that and I fully believe that you should be rewarded. Perhaps sell your research to a company that can then make a drug, or treatment, or at least a test.

    You can't OWN something you discover! Patents are supposed to cover invention.

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), May 13th, 2009 @ 10:18am

    I see what you did there

    @6 Husler
    "you make it clear that your position is radical"
    Nice work trying to say that anyone who thinks patents are bad and not needed at all are radical thinkers. I would suggest you realize you don't get to decide what is radical. You would need a large group consensus to decide that. It may differ from your groups opinion yes, but there is hardly enough people on your side and few enough on the other to make the other side radical.

    @Bettawrekonize
    You may want to pay more attention before arguing with post number 18 at all. Notice that the post is by "RIAA". This indicates that it was somebody posting here to make fun of that group. That group often equates copying to stealing, which it is not. In those cases it is infringement. Also, there is no point in arguing with the person who goes by the name "angry dude". He is a troll who comes here from time to time. His statements are only ever "you are wrong" and a bunch of insults. That is all he has to offer. No rational thinking.

    That being said I would say that indeed, they have stolen nothing from nature. They patented a gene (or something to that effect, I didn't read the patents). A gene that appears naturally in nature. While they may have patented it, it was not stolen. The only thing that could possibly be considered stolen, is all the other scientists ability to do tests on it. Even then, it wasn't really stolen. Now that the knowledge is out there, they can use it, and so can everybody else, all for the advancement of mankind. The only thing is they may choose to be assholes and try to hold back our race's development of sciences through the use of their patents. I still would not say it is stealing at all. Just poor decision of a confused government granting monopolies where they don't belong and a stupid company thinking it can own knowledge.

     

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      Hulser, May 13th, 2009 @ 1:22pm

      Re: I see what you did there

      @6 Husler
      "you make it clear that your position is radical"
      Nice work trying to say that anyone who thinks patents are bad and not needed at all are radical thinkers. I would suggest you realize you don't get to decide what is radical. You would need a large group consensus to decide that. It may differ from your groups opinion yes, but there is hardly enough people on your side and few enough on the other to make the other side radical.


      It happens so often on message boards, there should be a verb for reacting to what you think is stated based your own preconceptions rather than what actually is stated. Case in point: when did I say that I get to decide what is "radical"? What I referred to in my original post is the "average person". Regardless of the merits of the argument for eliminating the patent system, I think it's a very safe bet to say that the vast majority of people -- a "large group consensus", if you will -- would think that eliminating patents would be a radical move. Do you honestly think otherwise?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:21am

    Bettawrekoniz is Amazing

    Up until now, Angry Dude has been the most disliked person on this blog site. I think Bettawrekonize is managing to alienate everyone. If he tries a little harder, he might begin to alienate everyone nearly uniformly.

     

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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:23am

    "You can't OWN something you discover! Patents are supposed to cover invention."

    The idiots at the patent office don't know any better. They're not highly educated and they're probably switching from job to job. They probably barley understand half the patents they issue. I already suggested ways of fixing this to make patents more rare in other threads.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090426/1855224648.shtml
    http://www.techdirt.com/arti cles/20090414/0248514500.shtml

     

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    Anonymous12, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:39am

    by Anonymous Coward - May 13th, 2009 @ 10:14am
    Yeah. I agree. It is obvious that the microprocessor came straight from nature. While we are at it, so did the microwave oven and the rifle. Same with the internal combustion engine. All these things are obviously from nature. Why, I got an internal combustion engine off the tree in my back yard last week...

    Time to go get my meds now.



    @Anonymous Coward (the patent defending one):

    You still didn't answer the legal theory behind patenting a GENE. You loose wonder boy.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:57am

      Re:

      I have no idea why patenting a gene is allowable. What I was responding to was Betta's comment that nothing was patentable because everything comes from nature. I disagree with that statement, unless you can show me the the airplane patch where airplanes are grown.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 11:29am

        Re: Re:

        When humans creates something using natural resources, it becomes artificial. You can't patent the metal ore for planes, but you can patent a manufacturing process (or at least keep it a trade secret)

         

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      Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 11:49am

      Re:

      and you FAIL for misspelling the word "Lose".

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 12:04pm

        Re: Re:

        Actually, I thought he was saying that you were a "loose wonder boy." Now, I have no idea what he was trying to imply...

         

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    Chargone, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:40am

    I'll admit i haven't been here long, but this has got to be the most incoherent and [mostly] poorly thought out techdirt comment thread I've ever seen.

    that said, the idea of patenting genes borders on the insane, and is Definitely stupid.

    right up there with terminator crops [if I'm using that term correctly].

    the only practical application I can see for either is the intentional destruction of large segments of the human population, or at least the threat there of by way of forbidding positive intervention by other parties, in what amounts to grand extortion. or possibly slavery, depending how it's applied.

    also, the whole 'stolen from nature' thing would be fine... if every single tech dirt comment thread didn't define 'stealing' very differently and spend page after page after page making the distinction between stealing and copying.

    by the definitions used here, it was copied from nature. by the definitions used by pretty much every big corporation trying to defend their own idiocy and/or wallets, it was 'stolen'. unless they did it. then it was a shiney new discovery for which they should be well payed even if they never do anything with it other than block people who Don't pay them.

    you see the issue, I'm sure.

    'course, i figure that the biggest problem isn't really the patent system etc [much as they may have problems] so much as the utter insanity that is 'legal person-hood' for corporations. the mear fact that one has to SPECIFICY 'real person' in law to mean, you know, an actual person, should make that one blatantly obvious. there's a limit to how often an individual can do something monumentally stupid and avoid liability, or at least having it bite them in the arse, without the whole corporate 'person' to cover it.

    not to mention particularly problematic individuals are a lot less assassin resistant if all other avenues of redress fail :D

    whee! yay for getting off topic. oh well.

     

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    Elle, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:42am

    RE: Post #46

    "The only thing that could possibly be considered stolen, is all the other scientists ability to do tests on it."

    Unfortunately, this is correct. Interferon is a perfect example. Interferon was discovered by a scientist who had a patient that should have died from a specific type of cancer, but didn't. He researched the guy's blood, and discovered that he had a certain type of white blood cell that was gung-ho about killing certain types of cancer cells. He isolated the cell, and created Interferon. BTW, he never acknowledged or paid the cancer patient, and Interferon earns the patent holder a buttload of money every year. The patent on that particular med/blood cell means that if any scientists outside of the patent holder/holders experiments and/or improves on it, they have to get the patentholder's permission, and if they do get permission, pay them a cut of anything developed from there. Any scientist who tries to use or discovers something similar in a different patient can be sued for infringement. At least, that is how it was explained to me.

    "Even then, it wasn't really stolen. Now that the knowledge is out there, they can use it, and so can everybody else, all for the advancement of mankind. The only thing is they may choose to be assholes and try to hold back our race's development of sciences through the use of their patents."

    This is also true. Big medicine firms will block anyone from developing anything better, in order to keep themselves in the red in an accounting sense. Cancer meds that fight rather than cure earn the firms more money. Too bad if it also means that more people suffer and die. Bastards.

    "I still would not say it is stealing at all. Just poor decision of a confused government granting monopolies where they don't belong and a stupid company thinking it can own knowledge."

    Too true. Hopefully, someone can bring this crap before the Congress-critters and bring a stop to it. I think they did the same thing regarding the patenting of life-saving surgical proceedures (rather than life-saving devices, which CAN be patented).

     

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    Elle, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:49am

    Addendum to comment #52

    Re: Interferon

    It also occurred to me that the cancer patient cannot go to a different doctor and ask that doc or scientist to do something else with his white blood cells, without getting permission from the patent holder. In a way, that could mean that the man isn't free to do as he pleases with a part of his own body. Doesn't that violate the Constitutional amendment regarding slavery or something?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 11:00am

      Re: Addendum to comment #52

      How would the second doctor know what to look for? The patient more than likely knew too little about his own blood to point another doctor in the right direction.

       

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    Paul, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:52am

    patenting a fact?

    To me gene patents always struck me as the equivalent of patenting a fact. Maybe you can make a case for a gene that was engineered but certainly not for one that naturally occurred.

     

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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:58am

    "Bettawrekoniz is probably Weird Harold's new name."

    I don't even know who that is. Perhaps I haven't been around here long enough. I would also never choose a name like that. My name on forums has almost always been Bettawrekonize.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 11:24am

      Re:

      My name on forums has almost always been Bettawrekonize.

      You must not talk much. I Googled your name and you had only 10 hits at best.

       

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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:59am

    "What I was responding to was Betta's comment that nothing was patentable because everything comes from nature."

    Where the heck did I make any such statement?

     

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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 11:05am

    "Nothing that was patented was "innovative" it was simply stolen from nature"

    You took that out of context. I clearly meant that within the context of the subject matter of this thread.

     

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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 11:05am

    In other words, nothing that the thread is referring to was innovative ....

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 11:08am

      Re:

      Then you should have said that. The way you said it is exactly the feeling of many in the anti-IP crowd. The comment frequently provided is that because all things ultimately come from nature, there should be no patents. You sounded like one of that crowd.

       

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        Hulser, May 13th, 2009 @ 1:38pm

        Re: Re:

        Then you should have said that. The way you said it is exactly the feeling of many in the anti-IP crowd. The comment frequently provided is that because all things ultimately come from nature, there should be no patents. You sounded like one of that crowd.

        Exactly. That's how I interpreted it too. When you said...

        "Nothing that was patented was 'innovative' it was simply stolen from nature"

        ...I took that to mean you believed anything that has ever been patented was "stolen from nature". Perhaps you intended this to only refer to patenting of genes, but your statement, at face value, so closely fits a particular (what I would consider) radical viewpoint out there on the patent system, that the interpretation makes sense.

        Incidentally, I personally believe that it is wrong to grant patents on genes in the manner described in the TD post.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 11:06am

    Generating Traffic...

    I am trying to figure out whether Bettawrekonize is a benefit to Mike's website or a harm. Every time she shows up the number of posts goes way up as both sides initially argue with each other, then everyone argues with Betta. Funny, actually.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 11:06am

    "He isolated the cell, and created Interferon. BTW, he never acknowledged or paid the cancer patient, and Interferon earns the patent holder a buttload of money every year. The patent on that particular med/blood cell means that if any scientists outside of the patent holder/holders experiments and/or improves on it, they have to get the patentholder's permission, and if they do get permission, pay them a cut of anything developed from there"

    Interferon doesn't kill cancer itself and has serious side effects. It may be a good delivery method when combined with other drugs. Of course, there is quite a bit of research going on with Interferon, so I guess your point about it not being used isn't really true.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 11:14am

    @IP fanbois

    Lets see some of these IP fanbios rationalize Monsanto's use and misuse of IP

     

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    Anonymous12, May 13th, 2009 @ 11:21am

    @Anonymous Coward(the patent supporting one):

    TROLL. TROLL. TROLL. TROLL.....TROLL.

    You know why you haven't given a rational/logical defense of patenting a GENE. I'll tell you: IT DOESN'T EXIST.

    END TRANSMISSION...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 11:22am

    Hey Bettawrekonize...

    I seem to recall you had some feelings in another thread about patents and drugs, and how older drugs are banned after their patents expire. Here is a quote from a news report released today...

    Several billion dollar-selling drugs took hits due to potential safety issues last year. Sales of the diabetes treatment Avandia fell after the Food and Drug Administration added new warnings to its labeling, pointing out concerns about heart problems. Sales of the cholesterol drug Vytorin fell after a study released in January showed it was no better than an older drug, Zocor, at reducing plaque buildup in neck arteries. Zocor is available in generic form for about 80 percent less.

    Sales of Amgen's Aranesp and other drugs used to treat chemotherapy-induced anemia have been sliding for two years, since studies connected the drugs to the faster growth of some tumors. Medco said safety issues also affected sales of osteoporosis drugs and hormone replacement therapies, and product recalls hurt sales of migraine and cough and cold therapies.


    So, generic versions of Zocor is going to be banned because the patents are expired and Vytorin's patents remain in force. I look forward to the article on that one.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 11:28am

    Lol, all I had to do to derail this entire thread was to repeat a quote and say "so copyright violation is stealing?"

    Hahaha, 79 posts and I actually agree that you shouldn't be able to patent a gene.

    There is one problem with the Techdirt article though, in the article referenced it states

    "So far, however, two panels of government experts who have looked at the issue have not found significant impediments to research or medical care caused by gene patents. A 2006 report from the National Research Council found that patented biomedical research “rarely imposes a significant burden for biomedical researchers.”

    Of course, Techdirt wrote

    "Yet, the Patent Office has continued to issue such patents, even as they have been shown to cause significant problems in diagnosing and treating certain illnesses."

    So who is wrong? Techdirt or the New York Times?

     

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    no, May 13th, 2009 @ 11:39am

    patenting a gene is like downloading a movie for free - it's armed robbery

     

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    Michael, May 13th, 2009 @ 11:55am

    Liability?

    So, if a person "decides" to "make use" of a patented gene, does that mean the company is held liable for their patented product being harmful to your health?

    I smell settlements...

     

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    Anonymous12, May 13th, 2009 @ 11:55am

    @Anonymous coward: I misspelled a word. That's a mistake, not a fatal error in judgement or rational thought. LOL.
    See the difference? Apparently not. Later TROLL-boy.

     

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    Grimace, May 13th, 2009 @ 12:03pm

    They did not patent the gene

     

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    Anonymous12, May 13th, 2009 @ 12:14pm

    @Anonymous Coward: Trying to save face still? How cute.

     

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    Grimace, May 13th, 2009 @ 12:15pm

    They did not patent the gene

    They patented something that did not exist in nature. Take a look at a claim:
    1. An isolated DNA coding for a BRCA1 polypeptide, said polypeptide having the amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO:2.

    They are claiming a molecule, DNA, that is isolated (ie, not in its natural source cell, human, or any other creature) that codes for a certain protein.

    That never existed until these inventors went and searched through all the genetic information, figured out what part coded for the peptide they wanted, and then pulled that gene out of the morass and stuck it in a test tube. That is all they have claimed. The claimed object is a product of human inquiry, ingenuity and hard work, not nature. Since when did nature take the gene for BRCA1 and isolate it from all other sequences and offer it for human use? They cant claim it as it existed in nature, but they can claim it in its state transformed by human activity.

    If you say this case is about patenting that which is in nature, you are wrong. You don't get the issue. You are free to keep saying it, but you have revealed yourself as one not in command of the issues, allowing the rest of us to treat you accordingly.

    This is the same issue as any pharmaceutical patent. $$$$$. That is all. If you pay, you get it. If you dont, you dont. The price is inflated due to the patent. So, we have the policy issue of whether life saving medicine should be subject to patent. That is the discussion point. The gene issue is a distraction, it gets people riled and supportive of the cause because they dont understand it and are frightened.

     

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      TheStuipdOne, May 13th, 2009 @ 12:53pm

      Re: They did not patent the gene

      so you are saying that simply taking something out of where it naturally occurs makes it patentable?

      So if i recognize that the molecule O2 is present in our atmosphere but I isolate a sample of it then I can then patent it?

      I say no

      If I come up with a PROCESS or invent a MACHINE to isolate O2 then I can patent that. But if someone comes up with a new process or machine then there's nothing I can do to stop them.

       

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        Grimace, May 13th, 2009 @ 1:11pm

        Re: Re: They did not patent the gene

        If it had never been isolated, you could claim it in its isolated form as it would be novel and allegedly useful. Then the issue would be whether it was obvious to isolate O2. You cant claim it in any form that would include its natural state.

         

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      Killer_Tofu (profile), May 13th, 2009 @ 1:13pm

      Re: They did not patent the gene

      So you are saying that they took a protein they found in nature, singled it out, and now it is considered to not just be created by nature?
      Brilliant.

       

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        Grimace, May 13th, 2009 @ 1:23pm

        Re: Re: They did not patent the gene

        No, they figured out the sequence of the protein and the nucleic acid that encodes that protein and then isolated that nucleic acid sequence from the zillions in the genome. Then they claimed only the product of that work, the isolated nucleic acid.

         

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    Anonymous12, May 13th, 2009 @ 12:45pm

    Since when did nature take the gene for BRCA1

    They did not patent the gene
    by Grimace - May 13th, 2009 @ 12:15pm

    It is stated as fact in the NYT's article that they indeed DID patent the gene. If it was done through some convoluted logic, so be it, but they claim to own the gene. Read the article and get back to us.

     

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      Grimace, May 13th, 2009 @ 1:20pm

      Re:

      From the NYT:
      The companies successfully argued that they had done something that made the genes more than nature’s work: they had isolated and purified the DNA, and thus had patented something they had created — even though it corresponded to the sequence of an actual gene.

      There ya go.

       

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        Mike (profile), May 13th, 2009 @ 11:20pm

        Re: Re:

        The companies successfully argued that they had done something that made the genes more than nature’s work: they had isolated and purified the DNA, and thus had patented something they had created

        So I could understand trying to patent the process of isolating. But patenting the output? That makes no sense whatsoever.

        It's like saying you took a lawnmower and cut some grass, and you now deserve a patent over the cut grass, because it didn't occur in nature until you cut it.

         

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          Grimace, May 14th, 2009 @ 5:29am

          Re: Re: Re:

          If noone had cut grass before by any method, then the cut grass would be novel. Youd have to distinguish over all possible methods of cutting grass, manual mowers, sicles, cows and goats, etc. Not sure how you could do that. But if you could establish that the cut grass is new, has utility (another hurdle for your hypo) and that it is not obvious to create cut grass (by any method, not just the method you used) then you could get the claim.

           

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            Mike (profile), May 14th, 2009 @ 10:40am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            If noone had cut grass before by any method, then the cut grass would be novel. Youd have to distinguish over all possible methods of cutting grass, manual mowers, sicles, cows and goats, etc. Not sure how you could do that. But if you could establish that the cut grass is new, has utility (another hurdle for your hypo) and that it is not obvious to create cut grass (by any method, not just the method you used) then you could get the claim.

            No. I totally disagree. You could get a patent on the machine for cutting grass. But the cut grass itself... that should not be patentable at all.

             

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              Grimace, May 14th, 2009 @ 9:53pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              No. I totally disagree. You could get a patent on the machine for cutting grass. But the cut grass itself... that should not be patentable at all. Because...?

               

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    Anonymous12, May 13th, 2009 @ 12:45pm

    Since when did nature take the gene for BRCA1

    They did not patent the gene
    by Grimace - May 13th, 2009 @ 12:15pm

    It is stated as fact in the NYT's article that they indeed DID patent the gene. If it was done through some convoluted logic, so be it, but they claim to own the gene. Read the article and get back to us.

     

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      Gri, May 13th, 2009 @ 1:12pm

      Re:

       

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      Grimace, May 13th, 2009 @ 1:16pm

      Re:

      Why should I read the NYT's spin on what the patent covers when I can read the patent itself? The primary source prevails. If the NYT says they have claimed the "gene" without qualifying in what form it is claimed, they are being incomplete or, at worst, misleading for the sake of the story. Hard to believe a news outlet would do that...

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 2:07pm

    Stealing

    "Let me help you out: Stealing - "the illegal taking of another person's property"

    Let me help you.

    "to appropriate (ideas, credit, words, etc.) without right or acknowledgment."

    "To present or use (someone else's words or ideas) as one's own."

    Let me help YOU out

    In order to steal something, you must take it away from the person whom your are stealing.

    eg. If someone stole $5 from me, I no longer have $5

    Show me how "stealing" an idea leaves the creator of the idea without the idea. Does it magically disappear?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 2:35pm

      Re: Stealing

      Ohhhhh...so you are creating a NEW definition of stealing that flies in the face of standard, legal and religious usage. Okay. You must be a Libertarian. They frequently attempt to redefine commonly defined words to read in a manner that supports their position.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 3:39pm

        Re: Re: Stealing

        Oh wow, and I was just thinking that they must be a Leftist/Liberal for the very same reasoning.

         

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        Hulser, May 13th, 2009 @ 4:00pm

        Re: Re: Stealing

        Legal theft:
        Speaking of new, you must be new around here to not know that that the legal definition of theft does not apply to infringement. In short, you can't steal something that isn't owned.

        Religious theft:
        Show me a religious text that mentions intellectual property. If you did a search on, for example the bible, for the word theft or thief, I think that 100% of the cases would apply to taking something that deprives the owner of its use, which of course does not apply to infringement.

        Standard theft:
        I think the problem with the "standard" definition of theft is that people -- for example, you -- haven't really thought too much about the distinction between what real theft is and infringement. Because we don't have a word for infringement that has the same weight as "theft", people -- like you -- tend to lump both concepts under the same umbrella in spite of the fact that they are quite different things. Are they similar in some respects? Sure. They're similar enough that most people tend to conflate the two concepts. But, in this case, most people -- including you -- are wrong.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 5:46pm

          Re: Re: Re: Stealing

          I am unsure of what position you are taking, but here are some examples...

          Legal Theft:

          There are numerous examples of where courts, judges, and lawyers have used the term "theft" to apply to various intellectual property issues. Some state laws and international laws are beginning to incorporate the word theft in statutes relating to information. Yes, many of these laws relate to theft of personal information, but it is information nonetheless, and the usage is spilling over into non-personal information. You may dispute the use, but the fact remains that it is used regularly in this manner.

          Attorney James Rogan refers to the theft of intellectual property in an interview with Religion and Liberty.

          http://www.acton.org/publications/randl/rl_interview_448.php

          18 USC 1831 describes the "stealing" of trade secrets. Because the government realized there are many people who struggle with simple English, they also threw in many equivalent terms, including copying, duplicating, takes, carries away, appropriates, etc.

          Religion & Theft:

          Here is a nice summary of the general feeling among various religions regarding theft of intellectual property and the eighth commandment:

          http://atheism.about.com/od/tencommandments/a/commandment08.htm

          Dr. Claude Mariottini has a nice discussion of the numerous ways to steal, including the theft of intellectual property, which he believes is covered by the eighth commandment.

          http://www.claudemariottini.com/blog/2008/05/you-shall-not-steal-deuteronomy-2015.ht ml

          MisterNifty, a resource for churches, describes the copying of software as "theft."

          http://www.misternifty.com/church-copyright/is-your-church-guilty-of-theft/

          Standard Theft:

          I have thought about the difference a lot. You can justify depriving a creator of their constitutional rights all you wish, but I look at copying of someone's intellectual property as a kind of intellectual plagiarism, which is defined as theft in the dictionary. However, I am not the only one...millions were brought up with similar, religiously based teaching. The sin is not in the deprivation, but in the taking. That said...

          Here is a reporter noting that plagiarism or whatever you would like to call it is theft. Hardly definitive, since reporters frequently call it theft of intellectual property.

          http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YjQyY2Y5MjczOGJlNGUxNzkyN2ZjNzRjM2JjN2VlMWM=

          If I type "theft of intellectual property" into Google, I get 131,000 hits. If I type "infringement of intellectual property" into Google, I get 112,000 hits.

           

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            Hulser, May 13th, 2009 @ 7:12pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Stealing

            I am unsure of what position you are taking

            My position is simply this..."theft" and "stealing" refer to illegally depriving someone of something they own and that while this may be similar in some ways to infringement, they are not the same things and should be distinct concepts and therefore have different words.

            Attorney James Rogan refers to the theft of intellectual property in an interview with Religion and Liberty.

            I fail to see how the statements of someone, even an attorney, prove that the legal definition of theft is the same as infringement. From that article...

            "So we should not distinguish between property rights and allow the ease and popularity of stealing some types of property to serve as a justification for the theft."

            This is a common mistake. People, such as myself, who make a distinction between theft and infringement, do not do so to justify infringement or not even to be pedantic. It's to introduce clarity into the conversation about two related, but distinct topics.

            Here is a nice summary of the general feeling among various religions regarding theft of intellectual property and the eighth commandment:

            This may be a bit off topic, but in my opinion, I think that redefining the eighth commandment to include infringement is yet another example of how god's immutable truths are adapted by the church to fit the whims of the day. If infringement is a sin, then Hell is full of people who were sinning and didn't even know it. Presumably, when they appeared in Hell, the Devil had to take each one aside and explain to them that they'll be spending an eternity suffering unspeakable torture because they didn't understand the intricacies of intellectual property law.

            Dr. Claude Mariottini has a nice discussion of the numerous ways to steal, including the theft of intellectual property, which he believes is covered by the eighth commandment.

            I believe that the term "intellectual property" is a misnomer. It is not property. It is a set of rights. You can't steal what isn't owned.

            You can justify depriving a creator of their constitutional rights all you wish

            Please do not put words into my mouth. You've leapt to the conclusion that just because I make a distinction between theft and infringement, that I believe infringement is justified. This attitude is both misguided and reason for much of the conflict between the different sides of this argument.

            I look at copying of someone's intellectual property as a kind of intellectual plagiarism, which is defined as theft in the dictionary.

            Well, actually it's not. I hate to quote a dictionary definition, but here's the dictionary.com definition of theft...

            "theft. the act of stealing; the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods or property of another;
            larceny."

            Intellectual Property is not actually property, so infringement is not the same thing as theft.

            If I type "theft of intellectual property" into Google, I get 131,000 hits. If I type "infringement of intellectual property" into Google, I get 112,000 hits.

            You should have stopped before you got to this one. I disagree with your arguments above, but at least they were sensical. You can't honestly think that something is true just because it gets more Google hits.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 5:50am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Stealing

              My position is simply this..."theft" and "stealing" refer to illegally depriving someone of something they own and that while this may be similar in some ways to infringement, they are not the same things and should be distinct concepts and therefore have different words.

              When I was growing up, I was taught that taking something that was not mine to take was stealing, regardless of whether the person or entity from which I took was "deprived" of anything. Yes, this viewpoint is religiously based rather than legally based, but I have another comment on that later.

              Attorney James Rogan refers to the theft of intellectual property in an interview with Religion and Liberty.

              I fail to see how the statements of someone, even an attorney, prove that the legal definition of theft is the same as infringement. From that article...

              "So we should not distinguish between property rights and allow the ease and popularity of stealing some types of property to serve as a justification for the theft."

              This is a common mistake. People, such as myself, who make a distinction between theft and infringement, do not do so to justify infringement or not even to be pedantic. It's to introduce clarity into the conversation about two related, but distinct topics.


              Again, we are fighting over a definition rather than the legality of an act and whether the act of infringement is legally equal to the act of theft. As I will discuss further below, in the end all these arguments are beginning to sound like solipsisms.

              Here is a nice summary of the general feeling among various religions regarding theft of intellectual property and the eighth commandment:

              This may be a bit off topic, but in my opinion, I think that redefining the eighth commandment to include infringement is yet another example of how god's immutable truths are adapted by the church to fit the whims of the day. If infringement is a sin, then Hell is full of people who were sinning and didn't even know it. Presumably, when they appeared in Hell, the Devil had to take each one aside and explain to them that they'll be spending an eternity suffering unspeakable torture because they didn't understand the intricacies of intellectual property law.

              First, I find it interesting that various Christian organizations are independently coming to the viewpoint that the eighth commandment covers the theft of intellectual property, considering that they frequently have problems in agreeing on much else.

              Second, there is now a growing movement among Christian teens to abstain from making copies of songs and movies because, terminology aside, the wrongful taking of something is theft and is covered by the eighth commandment.

              Third, Islam is beginning to take the same viewpoint. I have yet to see what the Jewish, Hindus and Buddhists think, but that would be interesting as well. If only Christianity was "twisting" infringement to be a violation of the eighth commandment, I might consider that "twisting," but when other religions classify infringement as a variation of theft, I take notice.

              Fourth, if you look up the history of "infringement," you will find that the church decided that intellectual property could be stolen as far back as the Middle Ages. There are references to the Catholic Church's position on this dating to the 14th century. Hardly seems like the "whims of the day," unless the whims of the day equate to nearly 700 years.

              Dr. Claude Mariottini has a nice discussion of the numerous ways to steal, including the theft of intellectual property, which he believes is covered by the eighth commandment.

              I believe that the term "intellectual property" is a misnomer. It is not property. It is a set of rights. You can't steal what isn't owned.

              It is more accurate to say "intellectual property rights." However, we are human and intellectual property rights are often shortened to intellectual property. However, with some intellectual property rights there is in fact property.

              Consider patents. A patent is a right to prevent making, using or selling. Thus, the right covers actual property resulting from the right, not some abstract concept that cannot be owned. In fact, you could create an entire set of drawings that, if turned into a physical product, would infringe the right. If the product was an assembly, you could even produce all the components and assemble them to the point just shy of what the claims in a patent covered, but until the property is established in some form the right does not exist.

              You can justify depriving a creator of their constitutional rights all you wish

              Please do not put words into my mouth. You've leapt to the conclusion that just because I make a distinction between theft and infringement, that I believe infringement is justified. This attitude is both misguided and reason for much of the conflict between the different sides of this argument.

              Okay. I will cover this topic further at the bottom of this post.

              I look at copying of someone's intellectual property as a kind of intellectual plagiarism, which is defined as theft in the dictionary.

              Well, actually it's not. I hate to quote a dictionary definition, but here's the dictionary.com definition of theft...

              "theft. the act of stealing; the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods or property of another;
              larceny."

              Intellectual Property is not actually property, so infringement is not the same thing as theft.


              I offer the Merriam-Webster definition of plagiarize:

              : to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own : use (another's production) without crediting the source
              intransitive verb
              : to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source

              Also, from your reference, dictionary.com, the definition of plagiarize:

              1. to take and use by plagiarism.
              2. to take and use ideas, passages, etc., from (another's work) by plagiarism.

              Also from dictionary.com, the definition of steal:

              to appropriate (ideas, credit, words, etc.) without right or acknowledgment.

              If I type "theft of intellectual property" into Google, I get 131,000 hits. If I type "infringement of intellectual property" into Google, I get 112,000 hits.

              You should have stopped before you got to this one. I disagree with your arguments above, but at least they were sensical. You can't honestly think that something is true just because it gets more Google hits.

              There was a reason I brought the Google search into this discussion, which also relates to a point I said I was going to make throughout this post.

              I remember many years ago in an English class we were discussing living languages versus dead languages. We began to discuss the evolution of living languages, and that grammarians wanted the English language to be more fixed and static than it was (and continues to be). However, most grammarians have accepted the truth that English is a living, evolving language.

              Why is this important? Because a huge percentage of our population equates patents, copyrights, and trademarks as property. A similarly large percentage of our population refer to "infringement" of intellectual property as stealing.

              Is it "wrong" to do so? That question is silly. It is no more wrong for an average person to refer to "infringement" as theft than it is for an average person to refer to a doughnut as a donut or to refer to an automobile as a car. You may try to keep the definition of each separate, but people will determine the meaning of words by usage and the only place the distinction is important any longer is in court - and even courts, especially judges, are starting to refer to the "theft" of information and the "theft" of intellectual property. Yes, the actual crime with respect to intellectual property may be infringement, but it is quite common to refer to this crime as theft.

              Are you right (a solipsist argument), or are the millions of people that equate the two right? I suspect it is too late to turn the tide on this one, but you can try.

               

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                Hulser, May 14th, 2009 @ 8:08am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Stealing

                I remember many years ago in an English class we were discussing living languages versus dead languages. We began to discuss the evolution of living languages, and that grammarians wanted the English language to be more fixed and static than it was (and continues to be).

                Fair enough. Language is dynamic and the meanings of words can change over time. But in your original post you stated that making a distinction between theft and infringement was "creating a NEW definition of stealing". I would contend that it is people that hold your position who are doing the redefining. Traditionally, "theft" has refered to physical property or, in some cases, intangibles that could be owned. The redefinion took place with the introduction of the concept of IP. (In the cases the term "theft" has been applied to infringement, it's either because it fit the political motivation of IP owners or it was just simpler for a layperson to use in daily conversation.)

                I accept that to much of the public "theft" would apply both to the traditional kind of theft and to infringement, but because there are such fundamental differences between the two concepts and how they should be treated under the law, it's perfectly fair to make the distinction, especially in the context of the comments section of a web site that deals with intellectual "property" rights. No, I don't think that infringement is morally right, however I think that because of the unique nature of copyrights and patents its violation should not be treated the same way. It is for this reason that I believe that when talking about this topic, it's perfectly OK to make the distinction even if the same distinction isn't made by Joe Bloggs on the street.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 8:25am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Stealing

                  Fair enough in reverse. It would be interesting to see if the usage has changed with time. I suspect it probably has because when only legal people were involved it was probably largely referred to as infringement. As infringement went mainstream it may have been more commonly referred to as theft.

                  May you live in interesting times. These times are pretty darn interesting.

                   

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                Hulser, May 14th, 2009 @ 8:33am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Stealing

                When I was growing up, I was taught that taking something that was not mine to take was stealing, regardless of whether the person or entity from which I took was "deprived" of anything.

                Unless you were raised by intellectual property lawyers, I'm betting that what you were taught didn't mention anything about depriving. Which is exactly my point, that what I am calling infringement was only later lumped in with the concept of "theft".

                Again, we are fighting over a definition rather than the legality of an act and whether the act of infringement is legally equal to the act of theft.

                It is for the very reason that I don't think that theft and infringement should be treated the same in the legal system that I believe there should be separate terms for the concepts. If you conflate the two concepts into one term, you're shortcircuiting the argument that they should be treated differently. Pointing out that infringement is not theft is not a way to justify illegal or immoral actions; it's to prevent the argument from being over before it's even started because the terminology you use presupposes that they're the same thing under the law.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 9:32am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Stealing

                  Stop making sense...

                  Why not make non sequitur arguments like many other people here? Or arguments based on conspiracy theory sites? Do you really have to be logical when so many other people here read tea leaves and occasionally sacrifice a chicken to read its bones?

                  I think where I have a problem is when people try to justify patent infringement because patent infringement does not "harm" the owner of the patent. After all, the owner still has the patent and has been deprived of "nothing." The patent owner still has everything he had before the infringement. Legally, that is inaccurate, but try to explaining the legal complexities of infringement to a person who thinks an inventor has been deprived of nothing when infringement occurs.

                  I despair with people twisting morality into a pretzel. If you feel the law is wrong, then change the constitution and the law and do away with all intellectual property. Of course, doing so in only one country puts that country at a disadvantage in some respects, but hey, no one is "deprived" of anything, are they?

                   

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                    Hulser, May 14th, 2009 @ 9:53am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Stealing

                    I think where I have a problem is when people try to justify patent infringement because patent infringement does not "harm" the owner of the patent. After all, the owner still has the patent and has been deprived of "nothing." The patent owner still has everything he had before the infringement. Legally, that is inaccurate, but try to explaining the legal complexities of infringement to a person who thinks an inventor has been deprived of nothing when infringement occurs.

                    This may surprise some who have read my comments in this thread, but I actually agree with you a 100%. If Person A illegally downloads a song which is "owned" by Company B, then Company B is not deprived of the use of that song, but it can be argued easilly that the percieved value of that song is now marginally less than what it was before the infringement. (Of course, the kind of logic used by the BSA which equates every illegal download to a lost sale is ridiculous, but this is not to say that the download has no effect on the percieved value.)

                    Sure, if you are a progresive musician/businessperson, you can set up a system in which free distribution of copyrighted songs works into an overall profitable business model, but -- as the infringement-equals stealing crowd is so fond of pointing out -- it is the right of the copyright holder to decide what their business model is, even if it means they'll eventually fail in the new business environment.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 11:44am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Stealing

                      Hulser:

                      Here's a shock: I agree with everything you just said.

                       

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          Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 5:51pm

          Re: Re: Re: Stealing

          I am unsure of what position you are taking, but here are some examples...

          Legal Theft:

          There are numerous examples of where courts, judges, and lawyers have used the term "theft" to apply to various intellectual property issues. Some state laws and international laws are beginning to incorporate the word theft in statutes relating to information. Yes, many of these laws relate to theft of personal information, but it is information nonetheless, and the usage is spilling over into non-personal information. You may dispute the use, but the fact remains that it is used regularly in this manner.

          Attorney James Rogan refers to the theft of intellectual property in an interview with Religion and Liberty.

          http://www.acton.org/publications/randl/rl_interview_448.php

          18 USC 1831 describes the "stealing" of trade secrets. Because the government realized there are many people who struggle with simple English, they also threw in many equivalent terms, including copying, duplicating, takes, carries away, appropriates, etc.

          Religion & Theft:

          Here is a nice summary of the general feeling among various religions regarding theft of intellectual property and the eighth commandment:

          http://atheism.about.com/od/tencommandments/a/commandment08.htm

          Dr. Claude Mariottini has a nice discussion of the numerous ways to steal, including the theft of intellectual property, which he believes is covered by the eighth commandment.

          http://www.claudemariottini.com/blog/2008/05/you-shall-not-steal-deuteronomy-2015.ht ml

          MisterNifty, a resource for churches, describes the copying of software as "theft."

          http://www.misternifty.com/church-copyright/is-your-church-guilty-of-theft/

          Standard Theft:

          I have thought about the difference a lot. You can justify depriving a creator of their constitutional rights all you wish, but I look at copying of someone's intellectual property as a kind of intellectual plagiarism, which is defined as theft in the dictionary. However, I am not the only one...millions were brought up with similar, religiously based teaching. The sin is not in the deprivation, but in the taking. That said...

          Here is a reporter noting that plagiarism or whatever you would like to call it is theft. Hardly definitive, since reporters frequently call it theft of intellectual property.

          http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YjQyY2Y5MjczOGJlNGUxNzkyN2ZjNzRjM2JjN2VlMWM=

          If I type "theft of intellectual property" into Google, I get 131,000 hits. If I type "infringement of intellectual property" into Google, I get 112,000 hits.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 6:10pm

    It's not nice to patent mother nature

     

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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 6:34pm

    My definition of stealing was found on www.dictionary.com . It's not new.

     

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      Hulser, May 13th, 2009 @ 7:18pm

      Re:

      Here's the definition of "theft" from www.dictionary.com...

      "the act of stealing; the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods or property of another; larceny."

      So, because intellectual property is not actually property, but instead a set of rights granted to a legal entity, you agree that infringement is not the same thing as theft?

       

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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 6:35pm

    Whatever you want to define their actions, there actions (to patent genes) are no more ethical than stealing. They are at LEAST as unethical as stealing.

     

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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 6:49pm

    "That never existed until these inventors went and searched through all the genetic information, figured out what part coded for the peptide they wanted, and then pulled that gene out of the morass and stuck it in a test tube. That is all they have claimed. The claimed object is a product of human inquiry, ingenuity and hard work, not nature."

    You can exaggerate the efforts made to discover this all you want (to justify the patent though I HIGHLY doubt that the cost of making such a discovery comes close to the money made on such patents), but the question we should ask is if it weren't for the patent system, would this have been discovered by someone else who encountered the same (or a similar) problem? Is the patent system necessary for this discovery to be made? Or is the discovery simply a product of trying to find a solution to a problem?

     

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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 6:55pm

    and the answer to that, I would argue, is that most of these discoveries can just as easily be made without patents. People are willing to put the effort into making discoveries without patenting them just like they are willing to write GPL software (and operating systems) without patents. In many instances patents simply hinder the advancement of technology because they prevent future advancements and discoveries that would otherwise occur, in part, with the help of previous advancements and discoveries.

     

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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 6:59pm

    "I am trying to figure out whether Bettawrekonize is a benefit to Mike's website or a harm."

    I think Mike would not consider the view that we don't need patents to be that extreme.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20080318/004156568.shtml

    and since I'm pretty close to holding that view I think he would agree with me on a lot on this one.

     

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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 7:17pm

    Here is another example of how the patent system skews science. http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/16742/ (in regards to aspartame).

     

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    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:55pm

    "Try as I might, I could not find a single reference to patents in the cited article."

    Aspartame was a newly patented product around the time it got approved by the FDA. An explicit reference to patents shouldn't always need to be necessary to implicate the notion that it was a monopoly on aspartame that strongly influenced the lobby for its approval and the eventual FDA approval.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2009 @ 10:24pm

      Re:

      "An explicit reference to patents shouldn't always need to be necessary to implicate the notion that it was a monopoly on aspartame that strongly influenced the lobby for its approval and the eventual FDA approval."

      You are making assumptions without necessary predicate facts, which undercuts your arguments. Moreover, even if a patent lurked in the background, that in and of itself does not demonstrate any causal relationship.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 6:07am

      Re:

      By your logic, when people were lobbying for the inclusion of flouride in public water supplies, it have been a monopoly on flouride that strongly influenced the lobby for its approval. I disagree. People lobby for stuff all the time, monopoly or not.

      Some times, as in the case of fluoride, the lobbying was for public health. In fact, dentists were concerned that fluoride might reduce their business so much that there would be less need for dentists (turned out this concern was unfounded; there will always be people who take terrible care of their mouth).

      Since you failed to submit facts regarding who was lobbying and their justification for lobbying, it is hard to devine any intent from the lobbying. There are lobbyists who push to keep oil drilling out of our national parks. There are lobbyists who push for the opposite. Neither involves monopoly.

       

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        Tgeigs, May 14th, 2009 @ 7:01am

        Re: Re:

        "Some times, as in the case of fluoride, the lobbying was for public health"

        That is incredibly disputed, since the lobbying for fluoride (which is the correct spelling) actually began with the metals industry (US Steel, owned by you-know-who). Flouride is a byproduct of the metals industry. It was first tested for its placating effect on massive groups of people by the IG Farben industry on the slave labor found in concentration camps in Germany.

        www.fluoridealert.org/50-reasons.htm

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 8:21am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It may be disputed, but that does not change the studies that have found a positive correlation between the use of fluoride and reduction in tooth decay. Nice job connecting fluoride and Nazis. Are you going to say that fluoride kills kittens next?

          http://www.cdc.gov/Fluoridation/pdf/natures_way.pdf

           

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            Tgeigs, May 14th, 2009 @ 9:00am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I'm not the one that equated fluoride and Nazis, historians have, in several sources:

            www.preferrednetwork.com/FLUORIDE_STUPIDITY.htm
            www.tuberose.com/Fluoride.html
            www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article3295310.ece

            Fluoride, simply put, has a toxicity level that is higher than lead. It is also a component drug that can be combined w/others to induce complacency at a variety of levels (for instance, the date rape druge known as roofies, or Rohypnol, is essentially fluoridated valium), hence its use in concentration camps.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 9:44am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Three sites known for their scientific research and scholarship. I think at least one of these sites is linked to from a space alien site and another is connected with anti-government paranoia sites. You will forgive me for have a bit of skepticism regarding some of their claims.

               

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                Tgeigs, May 14th, 2009 @ 10:57am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Fine, here's some more:

                stanford.wellsphere.com/complementary-alternative-medicine-article/scientific-study-finds-f luoride-horror-stories is a health site

                blog.epa.gov/blog/2008/05/29/drinking-water-and-fluoride is where the EPA details why they CONSTANTLY oppose fluoridation

                http://www.nationalwatercenter.org/epa_&_fluoride.htm is an opposition explanation from teh National Water Center union in Arkansas

                But hey, what do they know.

                 

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                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 11:48am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Tgeigs:

                  Would you like me to start finding horror stories about plain, pure water? There are a lot of them. Considering how many problems water causes, we should outlaw water - except we need water for our bodies to function.

                  You will forgive me if I am a doubting Thomas regarding flouride research. The CDC says it is safe. Independent studies say it is safe. Can it be abused? Water can be abused. You can die from eating too many Twinkies. Aspirin will kill you faster than fluoride, and probably has killed people. If you have chosen fluoride as your personal crusade, then have fun. I have bigger concerns than connecting fluoride, Nazis and space aliens.

                   

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                    identicon
                    Tgeigs, May 14th, 2009 @ 2:55pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Sigh.

                    "Would you like me to start finding horror stories about plain, pure water? There are a lot of them."

                    Yes, please do, and remember to omit the stories about OVERconsumption of water, since that's not what I've pointed to with fluoridation. Since the govt. has decided to institute how much fluoride we ought to have in our system and that's the dosage that is causing dangers, I'll go ahead and await a study on the dangers of drinking the recommended amount of plain, pure water. The common figure is 8 glasses a day. Go.

                    "Considering how many problems water causes, we should outlaw water - except we need water for our bodies to function"

                    Great, except we don't need fluoride for our bodies to function, so I'm not sure what to make of such an incoherent thought. Again, Fluoride is a TOXIC substance, a byproduct of the production of aluminum, and has doping properties. The EPA is against it. The EPA. THE EPA. Not just the "crazies" and "conspiracy theorists", the damn EPA.

                    "You will forgive me if I am a doubting Thomas regarding flouride research"

                    I will forgive you. Its history is convoluted and it's tough to discern fact from fiction, particularly with all of the spin on information out there. I'm not 100% sure all of my conclusions are 100% correct, but some things are fact: It's Toxic, it was used by Nazis as a pacifying agent to quell prisoners, and our govt. is putting it in our public drinking water today. That doesn't sound right to me.

                    "The CDC says it is safe. Independent studies say it is safe."

                    Absolutely true. But....the EPA says it isn't safe, like at all, and there are "independent" studies saying the opposite. Now of course I don't believe that either side of the issues studies are ACTUALLY independent. For instance, I won't trust a single word that comes out of the NHO's mouth, since they're so closely tied to the Rockefeller foundation, and that family owns so much of the Metal industry (where fluoridation comes from) and Big Pharma (aspartame, etc.).

                    "If you have chosen fluoride as your personal crusade, then have fun. I have bigger concerns than connecting fluoride, Nazis and space aliens."

                    Yes, it's one of a few "personal crusades", and it's something I find interesting. However, shockingly, not a big alien believer. The Drake Equation and Fermi Paradox are so ill conceived, that it's easier to believe we are alone.

                     

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                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 2:46pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  See page 38 of this study, which says that in spite of the controversy, flouride appears to be safe.

                  http://riskometer.org/library/Risk_Paper.pdf

                   

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 6:25am

      Re:

      So, why would the FDA expand its approval of aspartame in 1993, the year after the patent expired, and remove all restrictions on its use in 1996, four years after the patent expired? By your theory, all lobbying should have ceased after the patent expired in 1992.

      Also, by your previously stated theories linking the expiration of patents and the banning of products, this product, for which the patent expired 17 years ago, should also have been banned.

       

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        identicon
        Tgeigs, May 14th, 2009 @ 7:03am

        Re: Re:

        Because it was replaced by other artificial sweeteners, many produced by the same company, Searl, once run by Donald Rumsfeld.

         

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  •  
    identicon
    Bettawrekonize, May 13th, 2009 @ 9:56pm

    A monopoly as in a patent.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 6:32am

    You should not be able to patent nature.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 6:43am

    Just because you define something one way doesn't make it so. Just because our laws define something today doesn't mean it can't change in the future.

    Abortion is legal today. Tomorrow, it might not be. Things change. Copyright might go away, so file sharing will be common place (at least legally commonplace) or it might draw greater punishment, depending on the mood of the country.

    Things change, get over it.

     

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    identicon
    staff1, May 14th, 2009 @ 7:39am

    the public wins

    let's not forget the purpose of patents is "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts". The question is then... do such patents promote discovery? would this discovery have been made without the promise of a patent, or likely not? if not, then there has been no harm because this procedure would not have existed and the plaintiffs would have suffered no loss. don't forget once the patent expires the public has free use and would then be free use of something that would not have otherwise existed. in the end the public wins.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous12, May 14th, 2009 @ 8:53am

    @IDIOTS: Please continue to hold your views. I create something. I put my time, effort, and creativity into it.
    I determine that it has value. This right is inherent to the creator of the song, poem, etc., YOU did not create it.
    I BY MY OWN DECISION, NOT YOURS get to decide whether I want to charge 5 cents or 5 billion dollars for it. If you don't like it, you don't have to pay. Just don't sit there with a straight face and say you're not taking something which doesn't RIGHTFULLY belong to you. You guys (DEFENDERS OF STEALING) are the biggest two-faced jackasses I have ever had the displeasure of reading/listening to. I'm not a copyright lawyer, I don't like DRM, and I don't like the majority of crap done by the RIAA, MPAA, or other multi-national corporations greedy bastards. That doesn't justify your desire to take whatever you want, download music, take movies and burn them onto your video game players, etc.etc,etc. Is it for sale by someone who created it? YES.
    Do you take it without paying? YES. That makes you a thief.
    Sorry if the truth hurts. Argue for a century, hold your breath till you pass out, it doesn't change that. I can't help that a whole generation is being brought up in fantasy land. PEACE OUT.

     

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      Hulser, May 14th, 2009 @ 9:13am

      Re:

      Wow. You're comment is so full of incorrect assumptions and faulty logic, I'm having a hard time telling if it's a lame attempt at a troll or a real post.

      In case you aren't a troll...

      DEFENDERS OF STEALING

      I know this is a long thread, but no where did I see anyone comment that infringement was morally OK or even legal. This seems like another classic case of lack of reading comprehension and/or jumping to conclusions.

      BTW, what I take TD's opinion to be is that in spite of infringement being illegal, in many cases it's actually part of a good business model, but that companies get so caught up in the legal aspect, they can't see they're cutting of their nose to spite their face.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous12, May 14th, 2009 @ 9:23am

    @Hustler: NO, I'm not trolling. I have'nt seen it in this thread, but I've seen it all over TD. TD seems to have made a pretty solid case in my mind that FREE can be part of a good buisness model. The problem is that A LOT of the younger (I'm under 40 by a decade) people these days seem to think it should be THEIR choice and not the content creator's as to whether they will recieve their content for FREE. This is totally bass-ackwards and a feeble attempt to support moral corruption. Just because FREE is good, and happens to sometimes be ILLEGAL based on who is doing the "FREEING" doesn't mean that ILLEGAL is good, which is essentially the bait-and-switch argument I hear from a lot of young techies. TOTAL BS. Thanks. I understand that the companies are morons, but two wrongs don't make right. NEVER have, NEVER will.

     

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      identicon
      Hulser, May 14th, 2009 @ 9:39am

      Re:

      I have'nt seen it [moral or legal justification of infringement] in this thread, but I've seen it all over TD.

      If by "all over TD", you mean Techdirt posts, then I think you're flat out wrong. If you mean in the comments sections, I'd say you're almost all wrong. If you did a search, I bet you'd find far more instances of people complaining about comments that infringement is OK than actual instances of comments that infringment is OK.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 1:28pm

    There are more cases of people dying because their water system didn't use fluoride than not.

    Happened in Maryland not too long ago. Ask any dentist.

     

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


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