US Chamber Of Commerce Makes Up Things About Intellectual Property

from the why-do-people-trust-this-stuff? dept

We had just been discussing how the US Chamber of Commerce (currently losing some big name members for its troubling connection to reality on certain topics) was misinterpreting some stats about patent laws to push for stronger protectionism, and along comes an opinion piece by Mark Esper, the Chamber of Commerce's executive VP of its "Global Intellectual Property Center." Take a wild guess what he argues for? You got it! Stronger intellectual property all around. The problem is that the editorial is riddled with factual and logical errors that aren't just sloppy, but are almost laughable.
The legal rights that governed IP for generations provided a known system of incentives that both fostered and spread innovation. It was the inducements built into our free-enterprise system, coupled with the talents and hard work of entrepreneurs, which moved this nation forward. It worked back then, and it will work now.
This is actually entirely unsupported by the evidence. Studies have shown -- repeatedly -- that no causal relationship has been shown between IP rights and innovation. Furthermore, it's pretty laughable to pick a gov't granted monopoly and claim that this is an "inducement built into a free-enterprise system." IP is the opposite of free enterprise. It's a gov't-granted monopoly. Also, in the paragraph above, he's talking about IP post World War II. What he skips over is that after that period, both patent law and copyright law were greatly expanded, such that they barely resemble what was seen following WWII (especially copyrights).
Six decades later, nearly half the U.S. economy is driven by industries that depend heavily on intellectual property rights. If we are to jumpstart a second economic renaissance, then we must begin by protecting and stimulating the lifeblood of America's economy: its ideas.
Well, beyond the lack of evidence that IP stimulates ideas, every time we talk about IP stifling ideas, IP system defenders rush onto this blog to remind us that neither copyright nor patents are supposed to protect "ideas," but rather "expressions" or "inventions." Someone should inform Esper of this.
The counterfeiting and piracy of American goods cost the U.S. economy over $200 billion annually, and the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs. This growing problem, coupled with the fact that some foreign governments are working to weaken IP laws that protect American patents, threatens to slow down innovation by undermining the incentives that foster it.
Where to start? Well, how about that $200 billion number? It's made up. Almost entirely. Both the GAO and the OECD looked into the numbers bandied about by the Chamber of Commerce and other lobbying groups and found (oops) that they were exaggerated, sometimes by an order of magnitude or more.

As for the claim that "foreign governments" are trying to "weaken IP laws?" Again, totally made up. Around the globe, almost all of the efforts have been for strengthening, not weakening IP laws. And, again, studies have shown that stronger IP laws do not correlate to greater innovation, and often the reverse.
This is occurring at a time when industries that rely on IP, such as pharmaceuticals, IT, and entertainment, employ 18 million Americans, and are expected to exceed the national average when it comes to future job growth. At the same time, workers in IP-based industries are projected to earn approximately $7,000 more than their counterparts in non-IP lines of work.
This assumes, entirely incorrectly, that those jobs don't exist in the absence of IP. Unfortunately, the evidence is again totally against Esper. Countries that had no patents on pharma goods, such as India and Italy for many years, still had incredibly thriving pharmaceutical industries. In fact, Italy's pharma industry shrunk after it put in place patents for pharma. So, the idea that stronger patents are needed to protect jobs? There doesn't seem to be any support for that.
In short, America's future depends on intellectual property
See, this is a neat trick. He's assuming that all intellectual output relies on IP laws. That's not true. America's future may depend on innovation, but that's not the same as saying it depends on stronger IP laws.
Our IP is valued at over $5 trillion -- more than the GDP of any other country. Intellectual property also accounts for more than half of all U.S. exports, helping drive 40 percent of U.S. economic growth. In 2006 alone, IP exports contributed $37 billion to our trade balance, demonstrating the power of IP in the global marketplace.
Ah, the use of funny math. Again, this involves some number games, whereby lots of things that have absolutely nothing to do with patent, trademark or copyright law are "counted" as being included in these numbers. The fact that much of it would have happened anyway, even with no such laws, is totally ignored.
In every state in the union, IP has played an integral role in molding the economy. Take President Obama's home state of Illinois, for instance. Illinois is ranked sixth in the nation for patents, and creative industries have contributed to over $1 billion in local wages. It is home to 144 university-based and 71 federal research centers, and features eight premier research and technology parks that grow the high-tech companies and jobs of the future.
Nice job pandering to the President. Of course, again, note the implicit (but false) assumption, that it's IP laws that are entirely responsible for this output. Note the implicit (but false) assumption that the research coming out of those universities and research centers are due to IP laws.
Intellectual property is woven into the fabric of our lives and the nation's economy, and has played a critical role in all the major advancements that have made the 20th century one of the most defining times in human history. It is the author of great American moments, from the Apollo program and the PC, to the Internet and iPods, and all the great songs, stories and movies in between that have shaped our culture.
Again, falsely attributing all of those to IP laws. Amusingly, of course, the internet had almost nothing to do with IP laws, and the only time IP has become involved in internet infrastructure, it's been to hold back innovations. And iPods? The thing (well, its predecessor, the Diamond Rio) that the recording industry tried to sue out of existence using IP laws? Yeah, that's not a very strong argument to put forth. The PC's success was actually based on the fact that much of it was built upon open standards and widely shared and copied technology, rather than being locked down by IP laws. The Apollo program I'm less familiar with from an IP standpoint, but seeing as it was a gov't program put forth due to a challenge from President Kennedy and funded by the US gov't, there's is no indication that it required patents as incentive for that particular innovation...
We cannot take IP rights for granted. Rather, we must strengthen IP enforcement and continue promoting innovation and creativity, and the laws that protect both. The next economic renaissance needs to happen now, and strong IP rights will help usher in this new era of job growth and economic revitalization.
Stunning. Right after naming a bunch of innovations that happened because of looser IP restrictions, you suddenly insist that we need stronger IP enforcement? Have you no shame?

I haven't paid much attention to the US Chamber of Commerce, but does anyone actually take them seriously when they spew nonsense like this? Update: Add Apple to the list of big name companies leaving the US Chamber of Commerce. Time to start paying attention to reality.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Oct 5th, 2009 @ 8:30am

    Philistine!

    We couldn't have had the Renaissance without strong Intellectual Monopolies, now could we?

     

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    angry dude, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 8:33am

    One day MIkey's head will explode

    Doctor's prescription for Mikey:
    warm enema, bed regime, not thinking about Intellectual Property

     

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    senshikaze (profile), Oct 5th, 2009 @ 8:53am

    I wonder...

    How screwed up this guy is.
    Or better yet, how much money has "fallen" into his ip-loving lap. I find it funny that he can spout this nonsense, but if i ignore IP law, I get sued. I love this country so much.

     

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    Ima Fish (profile), Oct 5th, 2009 @ 8:53am

    Mike, I don't know how you do it, day after day, week after week, year after year. Rationally and clearing responding to this complete BS, only to have it never go away.

    I'm just glad you're here beating your head against the wall, because someone has got to do it.

     

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    Svante Jorgensen (profile), Oct 5th, 2009 @ 9:14am

    Total nonsence

    I really don't understand how people like Mark Esper is allowed to say these kind of things in public without being ridiculed.
    It must be because the wider public don't care or know that much about IP laws.

     

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    Designerfx (profile), Oct 5th, 2009 @ 9:19am

    stronger IP in other countries

    This is because douchebags like Esper push it on other countries via trade agreements.

    Lots of those countries don't want IP. Somehow we've been able to push our diplomats into their countries and convince them that IP = more money.

    Maybe what the US goal is (tinfoil hat on here) - is to get China to adopt our horrible IP concepts and then drop them on our side - leaving us a stronger country?

    Sorry, that's about the best I can come up with as to why we'd push the whole world to adopt our atrocious IP ideas (thankfully Israel and Sweden among others have pushed back)

     

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    R. Miles (profile), Oct 5th, 2009 @ 9:22am

    Idiotic statements from *our* government? Surely you jest!

    ...from the Apollo program and the PC, to the Internet and iPods...
    How interesting. Apple, the manufacturer of iPods, is absolutely notorious for restricting IP.

    The internet? Think it would be where it is today if anyone in content distribution had the foresight to see where it would be today (turning people into thieves, damn it! )?

    The VCR, anyone? Yes, all because it would turn us into thieves.

    So, basically the CoC is calling American thieves giving it's using numbers perpetuated by our usage, not global. Because those numbers look damn familiar, especially by those regurgitated by the RIAA.

    Sure, let's pass laws restricting IP even further, so all these claims against patents (for obvious innovation) and copyright infringement (because fair use is stealing!) can fuel the true innovation of this country.

    I'm working on called "How to own a business (and not run a business) but make revenues from other businesses: Suing For Proft!" It's a working title.

    Because if IP laws get any tighter, it'll be a best seller.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 5th, 2009 @ 9:49am

    Re: stronger IP in other countries

    "Somehow we've been able to push our diplomats into their countries and convince them that IP = more money."

    Actually, I think it's more nuanced than that. We tell other countries to do what we want or we will hurt them (economically, politically, militarily, or some combination) and at the same time give them an "IP == more money" line that they can use to placate their own population. I don't think the other countries necessarily believe the line themselves, but it gives them cover.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 9:51am

    This is actually entirely unsupported by the evidence. Studies have shown -- repeatedly -- that no causal relationship has been shown between IP rights and innovation.

    Other than perhaps Levine and Boldrin, and even here I am not sure that this is necessarily accurate, none of the studies upon which you constantly rely as evidence, demonstrated the absence of a causal relationship. I believe it fair to say that they did not affirmatively state "there is none", but that they were unable to prove or disprove causality.

    As for your continuing references to Swtitzerland and Italy, isn't it somehwat important to examine in depth the industries you say were flourishing before holding them up as examples of invention and innovation proceeding at the rates you advance in your arguments? I certainly believe so. I also believe there are numerous other plausibile activities transpiring in their respective markets that could easily account for the drop in number of companies you rely in part as your proof. Companies come and go all the time. Products offered by such companies are often overtaken and marketshare lost for reasons having nothing to do with the presence or absence of patent law. Your argument appears based upon the assumption that the institution of patent law was the downfall of many companies in these countries. Appearance and causality are certainly not one in the same.

     

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    Sean T Henry (profile), Oct 5th, 2009 @ 9:55am

    Re: Idiotic statements from *our* government? Surely you jest!

    Instead of "How to own a business (and not run a business) but make revenues from other businesses: Suing For Proft!"

    Try "Own someone else's business without doing anything: Suing For Proft!"

     

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    angry dude, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 9:55am

    Does anybody have

    a big enema for Mikey to flush all this IP garbage out of his system once and for all ?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 10:00am

    Re: Does anybody have

    There's a shortage, since you use them all up.

     

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    R. Miles (profile), Oct 5th, 2009 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re: Idiotic statements from *our* government? Surely you jest!

    "Own someone else's business without doing anything: Suing For Profit!"
    Ooh. I like. I'll run with this:
    "Start Your Own Business: Suing For Capital".

    Gold.

     

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    dorp, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 10:02am

    Re: Does anybody have

    Nah, we all know you bought up the entire supply of enemas for your butt. And the product of said enemas you splurge in the comments section.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 10:14am

    What IP accomplishes is little more than legalized corporate-instituted Taxation

    In order to understand IP, you need to see it for what it accomplishes. In it's current state, it's being used as corporate control over productive output, and a form of taxation of productive output, which only well-off companies can afford. You must think of IP as a corporate-instituted tax on other companies and individuals who have the capability to bring a product to market. Take the RIM vs NTP case as an example. It has little to do with making sure artists get paid or stealing ideas. It's about ego and finding a way to tax other's success without doing any of the work.

    It's no wonder why IP laws need to be reformed.

    Secondly, check out this little gem. It's the preamble to the US Constitution:
    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    Basically, elected officials should see that they have a job to do, and that job includes ensure future individuals and generations get a chance to experience the blessings of our forefathers. Of course, Mark Esper, and his entire Chamber of Commerce are probably not well versed in Constitutional Law, and like most talking heads, he will support whatever changes lobbyists who come with contribution checks desire. This may include better stronger IP laws.

     

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    Copycense, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 10:17am

    Someone pays attention

    Quote "I haven't paid much attention to the US Chamber of Commerce, but does anyone actually take them seriously when they spew nonsense like this?"

    Actually, yes: U.S. Congress

     

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    Derek Reed, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 10:23am

    This is disapointing

    Disappointing on many levels, the Chamber of Commerce is exactly the sort of organization you would expect to be doing real analysis or research into the best course of action for the economy/it's members, instead of regurgitating the crap spewed out by a couple of big players.

    In other areas, they seem to have progressive thoughts and agendas. In their writings on the american workforce they don't treat immigration as a naughty word, so clearly someone in this organization is capable of rational thought.

    So why the disconnect on intellectual property?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 10:25am

    I like how the PC is used to show how "IP moved it forward", when it was really the open standards that helped produce hundreds of companies competing to produce PC clones.

    Compare it to the Mac. You talk to any Apple fan, and every one will gush about how much easier and better (and more stable and secure) the Apple Operating Systems are. Yet, Apple chose to use IP to prevent hardware cloning (opposite of what happened to PCs). Compare market shares. Why does Microsoft have 10 times (or more) the market share of personal computers vs Apple, when their OSs are less secure, less stable, harder to use, etc?

    I would be very willing to bet that if Apple had opened up their hardware to cloning, and kept a tight rein on the OS, they would be the Microsofts of today. So the PC makes a poor argument for the benefits of IP.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 5th, 2009 @ 10:35am

    Re:


    Other than perhaps Levine and Boldrin, and even here I am not sure that this is necessarily accurate, none of the studies upon which you constantly rely as evidence, demonstrated the absence of a causal relationship.


    I said that no causal relationship has been shown. That is true. I did not say there was proof of a lack of a causal relationship -- just that none has been shown.

    What I said is true. Every study that tries to show a causal relationship cannot find one.

    As for your continuing references to Swtitzerland and Italy, isn't it somehwat important to examine in depth the industries you say were flourishing before holding them up as examples of invention and innovation proceeding at the rates you advance in your arguments?

    Yes, sure. We should. But... the argument here wasn't about innovation, but about jobs. And that's factual information. There were tons of jobs with weaker IP -- more than when they put in place tougher IP.

    Your argument appears based upon the assumption that the institution of patent law was the downfall of many companies in these countries. Appearance and causality are certainly not one in the same.

    Indeed. Nor did I say it did (though it didn't stop you from putting words in my mouth). But the argument put forth above was that IP was necessary for creating jobs. I pointed out the industries in Italy and Switzerland to disprove that claim alone.

    I have no doubt that there are many factors. But claiming that stronger IP is necessary for more jobs is simply not proven by any study.

     

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    Sneeje (profile), Oct 5th, 2009 @ 10:35am

    Doesn't the quote show cost, not benefit?

    "This is occurring at a time when industries that rely on IP, such as pharmaceuticals, IT, and entertainment, employ 18 million Americans, and are expected to exceed the national average when it comes to future job growth. At the same time, workers in IP-based industries are projected to earn approximately $7,000 more than their counterparts in non-IP lines of work."

    Assuming the various jobs are actually even comparable, doesn't the above quote basically say that jobs in IP-based industries impose a $7,000/person cost on those industries?

    Saying that would only be useful if you could show (and we know you can't) that the corresponding revenue offset that cost.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 10:36am

    Capitalism and Patents

    I saw that Michael Moore movie "Capitalism: A Love Story" this weekend, and it included a part about patents, and specifically about the royalty-free Polio Vaccine developed by Jonas Salk, and how Dr. Salk was still able to make a decent living outside of rattling sabers of the patent system.

    The movie was interesting stuff: on the level of a 600 level econ class.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 10:47am

    Re: This is disapointing

    In their writings on the american workforce they don't treat immigration as a naughty word

    Don't you mean illegal immigration? I don't think that most people who, as you say, "treat immigration as a naughty word" are talking about legal immigration. It's the difference between withdrawing money from your checking account and robbing a bank.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Oct 5th, 2009 @ 10:55am

    Re: Re: This is disapointing

    No, he means legal immigration. Far too many people think that all immigrants are just "taking our jobs". If you clicked on Derek's link, you would have seen early on that they reference H-1B and H-2B visas.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Oct 5th, 2009 @ 11:02am

    Re:

    "Why does Microsoft have 10 times (or more) the market share of personal computers vs Apple"

    They turned a blind eye to piracy early on in the game.

    "when their OSs are less secure, less stable, harder to use, etc"

    I assume you only said that as a jab to the MAC thumpers?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 11:30am

    Re:

    You talk to any Apple fan, and every one will gush about how much easier and better (and more stable and secure) the Apple Operating Systems are.

    Incorrect. I've found that there's really only two types of Mac people: Gods and idiots. There's rarely anything in between. To come to your conclusion, I imagine your market sample included only to the idiots.

    The point is that by merely accepting your half truth logic, Intel may be full of people who gush about how much easier and better the Apple Operating System is.

    Having an open platform without DRM, Trusted Computing is where it's at. But the top leadership has put their money where their mouth is. Steve Jobs vs. the Sound of Silence from Redmond's own Simon And Garfunkel.

    I would be very willing to bet that if Apple had opened up their hardware to cloning, and kept a tight rein on the OS, they would be the Microsofts of today. So the PC makes a poor argument for the benefits of IP.

    Incorrect again. Under you logic, Linux would have been #1 by now.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 11:41am

    Countries that had no patents on pharma goods, such as India and Italy for many years, still had incredibly thriving pharmaceutical industries.

    I can't believe you're still beating that same dead horse...

    Italy had limited or no patent protection for pharmaceuticals until 1978, and before that time was considered the leading manufacturer of generics...In recent years, India has claimed the title of the leading manufacturer of generics.


    http://healthcare-economist.com/2007/04/30/against-intellectual-property-pharmaceutical s/

    SO they were parasitically feeding off other countries monopolies and R&D which allowed them to "incredibly thrive". I wonder what percentage of new chemical compounds Italy would have found had they not become wealthy from ripping off everyone else.

    lol

    First, they present a rather tedious (they themselves admit it) history of patentability of drugs throughout the world. By analyzing the history they attempt to show that there is either no correlation or a negative correlation between patentability of drugs and innovation in the industry. By means of such demonstration they hope to call in question the intellectual property supporters’ argument that patents are necessary to promote new drug discoveries. However, I would hardly call their examples scientific. They provide hearsay “evidence” that despite lack of patent protection, companies in Switzerland, Germany, and Italy innovated no less than companies in the UK and USA, where patent protection was present. Also, they analyze the example of Italy before and after introduction of patent protection for drugs. Supposedly, in the 20-year period before patent protection was introduced, Italy contributed 9.28% of the world’s newly discovered active chemical compounds, and in 3 years following that period, that percentage fell to 7.5%. These examples, however, are rather meaningless for the following reasons: (1) they completely ignore other economic factors in the same period of time, (2) they are hardly statistically sound (comparing 20-year period to a 3-year period seems rather ridiculous), (3) from the point of view of pharmaceutical technology and medical law they can be considered ancient history, and (4) most importantly, they ignore the fact that despite the lack of protection in their countries of origin these drugs DID have patent protection everywhere else, including the USA, arguably the biggest single world market for pharmaceuticals. So in effect it didn’t matter whether where the drug was made, but rather where it was sold.


    http://molphil.wordpress.com/2009/03/13/a-case-against-intellectual-propety-in-pharmaceutic al-industry/

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: Re: This is disapointing

    If you clicked on Derek's link, you would have seen early on that they reference H-1B and H-2B visas.

    I did click on the link before I posted and in the section on immigration, the bullet point about H-1B and H-2B visas actually comes after the bullet point which speak to (legal) immigration.

    Besides, I don't think most people think of visa holders as "immigrants". Sure, if you're a permanent resident, you probably technically fit into the category, but when I think of legal "immigration", I think of people coming to a country through official channels and living there on a permanent basis. Given this, I stand by my statement that most people don't consider immigration a "naughty word". Especially in light of the fact that immigration and its divirsification of American culture is one of the things that makes the country so great.

     

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    hank mitchell, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 12:08pm

    Apollo mission is common property?

    wouldn't the IP of the apollo mission be the common property of the citizens of the united states if it's funded by the NASA? and the internet funded by the DARPA? Crack open some government charts and maps like those from the NOAA and they usually have a disclaimer at the bottom "NO COPYRIGHT CLAIMED"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 12:50pm

    Re: Re:

    "Yes, sure. We should. But... the argument here wasn't about innovation, but about jobs. And that's factual information. There were tons of jobs with weaker IP -- more than when they put in place tougher IP."

    Perhaps I overlooked it in the studies cited, but my recollection is that the data set was "number of companies". and not "number of jobs", i.e., pre-patents - more companies and post-patents - fewer companies.

     

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    angry dude, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 12:55pm

    freaking punks

    you, punks, are permanently retarded

     

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    mobiGeek (profile), Oct 5th, 2009 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Total nonsence

    The wider public AND the mass media. The issue isn't that complex to understand, but it is massively difficult to unprogram people from their current "beliefs" about IP laws.

    Trying to get people to go back to basics and undo all of their unstated assumptions is a Very Tough Sell indeed.

     

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    mobiGeek (profile), Oct 5th, 2009 @ 1:36pm

    Re:

    The fact that they were creating JOBS by creating generics only backs up Mike's point and invalidates the point made by the Chamber of Commerce: stronger IP does not mean more jobs.

    Same kind of jobs? Probably not since we're now talking about different kinds of job markets. However, are you going to claim that if there were no IP laws anywhere in the world that there would be no R&D going on at all?

    Are you trying to claim that research leads would simply stop working because they cannot lock up a market for 20+ years?

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 5th, 2009 @ 1:39pm

    Re:

    I can't believe you're still beating that same dead horse...

    I can't believe you didn't read what was written. The question was whether IP is needed to protect jobs. The size of the Italian pharma industry had MORE jobs prior to patent protection.

    And, yes, *much* of it was based on generics. You would absolutely expect that in a place with no patent protection. But that didn't mean that others weren't innovating (they were). But because of the big generic market, it generated many more jobs.

    The claim by the CoC guy was that IP was needed for jobs. The evidence suggests that's wrong.

    Please try reading what I actually wrote before you claim to debunk what I said, because you're debunking something different which is unrelated to what I was talking about.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 2:07pm

    "The size of the Italian pharma industry had MORE jobs prior to patent protection."

    Articles like Boldrin/Levine talk about # of companies, but I could find nothing re # of jobs. Is this point located in any one specific article?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 6:02pm

    Re: freaking punks

    Go stick your head in a toilet

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 9:34pm

    "It is home to 144 university-based and 71 federal research centers, and features eight premier research and technology parks that grow the high-tech companies and jobs of the future. "

    First of all, if it's funded by tax dollars it should not be intellectual property.

    Secondly (and I'm not saying I support or oppose government funded research), the fact that the government can fund research and advance technology is just more reason that intellectual property is not needed. The purpose of IP was to find funding but when the government already funds it who needs IP? Taxpayers are already funding it.

     

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

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 9:38pm

    "The Apollo program I'm less familiar with from an IP standpoint, but seeing as it was a gov't program"

    It was a government funded program. In other words, IP is not needed to fund it beacuse TAXpAYERS funded it. As a result no IP should be involved. Taxpayers paid for it, NO IP ALLOWED.

     

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

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 9:51pm

    Re:

    "and before that time was considered the leading manufacturer of generics...In recent years, India has claimed the title of the leading manufacturer of generics."

    That's because a generic, by definition, is a drug not under intellectual property. So if I have no intellectual property laws that means that everything I sell is a generic no matter how much I innovate or how much my pharma industry thrives.

     

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

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 9:54pm

    Re: Re:

    Well, the fact is that monopolies = less jobs. It's very simple economics. In a monopoly aggregate output is less and if aggregate output is less then you need fewer people to produce what is being outputed so you have less jobs. In a free market aggregate output is greater and you need more people to produce more so you have more jobs. Monopolies almost always = fewer jobs. This is econ 101.

     

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

  40.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Oct 6th, 2009 @ 6:14am

    so where is proof of causality?

    > Perhaps I overlooked it in the studies cited

    Obviously you overlooked a lot:

    > none of the studies upon which you constantly rely as
    > evidence, demonstrated the absence of a causal
    > relationship.

    None of those (or any other study for that matter) shows the presence of a causal relationship.

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    staff3, Oct 6th, 2009 @ 6:18am

    stop the shilling!!!

    "This is actually entirely unsupported by the evidence. Studies have shown -- repeatedly -- that no causal relationship has been shown between IP rights and innovation."

    Sure, studies by or paid for by your Microsoft pals and their thieving friends who are forever being sued for infringement of others patents.

    Patent reform is a fraud on America...
    Please see http://truereform.piausa.org/ for a different/opposing view on patent reform.

     

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

  42.  
    identicon
    Victoria, Oct 6th, 2009 @ 10:05am

    please provide evidence for you own claims

    "And, again, studies have shown that stronger IP laws do not correlate to greater innovation, and often the reverse."

    Could you please provide citations for this statement?

     

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

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2009 @ 10:06am

    Re: stop the shilling!!!

     

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

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2009 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re: stop the shilling!!!

     

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

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2009 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re:

    "Incorrect again. Under you logic, Linux would have been #1 by now."

    Please see

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090909/0425086144.shtml

    Perhaps it's patents that hold linux back.

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, Oct 6th, 2009 @ 11:04am

    Patents and the Chamber of Commerce

    Right on, Michael! Great analysis.
    To add some history (there is a saying "those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it" - or the modern version, "those who do not know history are allowed to repeat it"):
    At one time in history, inventions were carefully concealed. For example, Kepler had to wait for Brahe to die (conveniently) to make his contribution (not really a marketing thing, but the same thing was true everywhere).
    Patent protection ended that; but then, patents (and all IP) have become excessively abused, due to our American system of allowing the wealthy to buy politicians).
    So, modern IP? Bad. We are stuck with it until the people take back their government from the wealthy.
    But IP as the founding fathers intended? Very good, and needed.

     

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

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2009 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Well, the fact is that monopolies = less jobs. It's very simple economics.

    While I agree with you I would still like to see some evidence of this concerning Italy's pre-patent pharma industry. So far Mike has not substantiated this claim with a single credible study. If he is miraculously able to do so he will be one step ahead of the Boldrin and Levine..."paper" whose chapter on this subject couldn't be more tenuous or suspect in its statistical analysis and citations. The fact that it is so often brought up here despite being based on so obviously little, to me, speaks volumes about the reality of the situation.

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2009 @ 12:55pm

    Re: please provide evidence for you own claims

    And, again, studies have shown that stronger IP laws do not correlate to greater innovation, and often the reverse.

    I would like to see some citations here as well.

     

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

  49.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Oct 6th, 2009 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Re: please provide evidence for you own claims

    Mieky pulls those "studies" from his ass

     

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

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2009 @ 4:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's called the unemployment rate. All he had to do was look that up.

     

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

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2009 @ 4:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It talks about it here

    http://docs.google.com/gview?a=v&q=cache:L_-WwnZWt5QJ:www.dklevine.com/papers/ip.ch.9.m1 004.pdf+italy+pharma+prior+1978&hl=en&gl=us&sig=AFQjCNH6q2Dn2flNwkUVCAnVCv0cqxK0wg

    Mi ke also talks about it here

    "So, your claim that without a patent system it would kill an industry is simply false. Just look at the history of industrialization in places like the Netherlands and Switzerland -- both of which lacked a patent system while they became industrial successes. Just look at the pharma industry in Italy, which was thriving prior to having patent protection cover pharma, but which significantly shrunk after pharma patents were introduced. Look at the research of Petra Moser, who shows that places without patent protection still provide plenty of innovation."

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20071211/162230.shtml

    You simply ignore the evidence. The fact is that more patents often = less innovation. Companies that don't own a lot of intellectual property can't build anything in order to have revenue to fund more R&D and the corporations in place with patents have less incentive to conduct more R&D being that they already have a monopoly on the existing products so no one can compete with them thanks to the government.

     

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

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2009 @ 7:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Besides, a lot of civilizations, like the Shamans and Indians, who don't believe in Intellectual property, have discovered many medicinal properties of plants and a lot of research has gone into their medicine so that pharmaceutical corporations can find the active ingredients and patent them. But it was the civilizations that discovered the medicinal properties of these plants without patents and many of them have even expressed their desire that the findings not be patented. But as has been shown on other blogs I have read, now governments with plants that haven't been explored yet are restricting U.S. research into their regions because they insist that any discoveries made from these plants should be their intellectual property and they should have ownership of that information. This only hinders innovation and the spread of new information.

     

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

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2009 @ 7:23pm

    You idiot, did you just bring up the Boldrin and Levine study again? Seriously? Have you read any of the comments here?

    Everyone is asking for something ADDITIONAL to that since, once again, a lot of people find it to be full of hearsay and lacking in factual citations.

    Did you even read this?: http://molphil.wordpress.com/2009/03/13/a-case-against-intellectual-propety-in-pharmaceutical-indust ry/

    We ignore evidence? Why don't you try providing some first? Again, you'll be one step ahead of Boldrin and Levine if you do.

    The fact is that more patents often = less innovation.

    That is NOT a fact. Please cite your sources for this "fact".

    Companies that don't own a lot of intellectual property can't build anything in order to have revenue to fund more R&D

    So to be successful first you have to be a parasite? Is that what you're saying? You have to sell knock offs to make the money used for genuine innovation? Why do that when you can just manufacture more knock offs which already have a proven track record and established market? You're not making any sense.

    No one is surprised that countries without patents made or make a lot of generics. I don't happen to consider their parasitism "innovative" nor their "thriving industry" ideal. Their "success" (if you even want to call it that) was completely DEPENDENT on the patents and monopolies of others so to say that these patent-less countries are proof of patent-less pharma industries working is patently ridiculous.

    We should not favor the counterfeit DVD manufacturers in China over the legitimate ones. We should not favor the counterfeit hand bag makers over the genuine companies. And we should not favor generic companies over the ones that actually invested the money and R&D into bringing the drugs to existence in the first place.

     

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

  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2009 @ 8:19pm

    Re:

    "No one is surprised that countries without patents made or make a lot of generics. I don't happen to consider their parasitism "innovative" nor their "thriving industry" ideal. Their "success" (if you even want to call it that) was completely DEPENDENT on the patents and monopolies of others so to say that these patent-less countries are proof of patent-less pharma industries working is patently ridiculous."

    Countries don't generally copy each other, one reason being that research in different countries are in different languages and medical terms and beliefs about medicine differ from country to country and another is because people from one country don't necessarily trust research from other countries. You have absolutely zero evidence that their success was dependent on countries with patents, I've read a lot of research (though it's from my school and much of it is not publicly available) about how pharmaceutical corporations and universities go to civilizations, like the shamans and indians and so forth, who don't believe in patents and they figure out what plants they use for which medicinal purposes to figure out ways to extract and synthesize the active ingredients and turn them into pharmaceuticals. A lot of drugs were developed this way.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2009 @ 8:20pm

    Re:

    Your argument that, "because a country succeeds it must be due to their copying of some country with patents" is utter nonsense.

     

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

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2009 @ 8:23pm

    Re:

    Also, your article is terribly written.

    "These examples, however, are rather meaningless for the following reasons: (1) they completely ignore other economic factors in the same period of time, (2) they are hardly statistically sound (comparing 20-year period to a 3-year period seems rather ridiculous), (3) from the point of view of pharmaceutical technology and medical law they can be considered ancient history, and (4) most importantly, they ignore the fact that despite the lack of protection in their countries of origin these drugs DID have patent protection everywhere else, including the USA, arguably the biggest single world market for pharmaceuticals. So in effect it didn’t matter whether where the drug was made, but rather where it was sold."

    This can be said about any study, if there is a study indicating that patents are good I can blame it on other economic factors. Under this pretext we can never conclude anything because other factors could be the cause.

    "Turns out Boldrin and Levine took the study and arbitrarily changed the assumptions made by the authors in constructing their model, and came up with different numbers, which completely contradicted the authors’ original conclusions."

    So what if it disagreed with the authors conclusions, so they disagree with the authors conclusions. Just because the author concluded something doesn't make it correct.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2009 @ 8:35pm

    Re: Re:

    "The hard, risky, expensive, and relatively more mundane work of taking basic research results and making them into actual drugs that patients will be able to benefit from, is almost entirely the domain of the industry."

    And this by far is the stupidest nonsense I have ever heard. The "hard, risky, expensive" first of all, if it were expensive why is it that the government is paying more for it. And please don't make up some arbitrary definition of "hard and risky" to arbitrarily define it as what pharmaceutical corporations spend their money on. If the government is spending money on less fruitful endeavors per unit dollar than pharmaceutical corporations then we need to change how the government spends its money. The point is that those dollars are going to be spent either way and now the government is spending the majority of the money while pharmaceutical corporations get away with not spending that money and gaining patents on money spent by the government. It should be the pharmaceutical corporations paying that money if they want patents and not them delegating it to the government. The pharmaceutical corporations are taking less risks because they have less to lose being that they are spending less money and the profits that they make, on average, vs the amount they spend, on average, is testimony to the lack of risk that they take in comparison to the government that simply wastes money to hand it over to pharmaceuticals (ie: by granting them patents).

    The point is that the government funds a most of the research which is less reason for us to have patents to begin with. Then, after the government funds most of the more difficult and risky research and comes up with something useful and not so risky, pharmaceutical corporations take the less risky results, do a little bit of research, and then benefit from the money that the government spent by getting patents on the final products.

    But the true incentive is to have the government spend money on more risky endeavors and have pharmaceutical corporations spend money on less risky ones and that is exactly what is happening. Why should pharmaceutical corporations spend money on more risky behavior when they can easily spend their money on less risky ones just like what the government does? Your whole argument is nonsense and you know it.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2009 @ 8:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Also, from a finance perspective, the more risky an investment is, the less you are going to spend on it per expected future return. So if something was risky vs something less risky and you expected a $10 return one year from now from either investment, you are more likely to choose the less risky investment. So it's VERY unlikely that pharmaceutical corporations are spending more money on more risky research being that that's not what the incentive dictates. The incentive dictates that they will spend money on less risky research and patents do nothing to change this. Also, as the future return prolongs into the more distant future what you would spend now would go down, especially as current perceived risk increases. So twenty year patents are almost irrelevant to today's investment.

    However, in the case of the government, since it's government money, who cares how much "risk" they take since the actual people conducting the research and granting the money have almost nothing to lose (it's not their money, it's taxpayer money).

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2009 @ 8:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "So twenty year patents are almost irrelevant to today's investment." Especially when it comes to spending money on very risky investments.

     

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

  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2009 @ 8:59pm

    Re:

    Now, everything I mention is very basic, well established finance. Just look up the time value of money and you would learn about things like present value, future value, expected rate of return, discount rate, risk factor, etc... As the risk factor goes up the amount that you will spend now for a future expected return DECREASES, so to say that pharmaceutical corporations are spending money on more risky behavior is highly highly unlikely being that that's not what the incentive is for them to do. If patents really are justified in the pharmaceutical industry I want independent auditors to audit them and to post exactly how much they spend on everything online for everyone to see. But when congress tried to audit them they refused. Patents should be justified and I want to see justification.

    "# The industry fought, and won, a nine-year legal battle to keep congressional investigators from the General Accounting Office from seeing the industry’s complete R&D records. (See Section IV) Congress can subpoena the records but has failed to do so. That might owe to the fact that in 1999-2000 the drug industry spent $262 million on federal lobbying, campaign contributions and ads for candidates thinly disguised as "issue" ads. (See accompanying report, "The Other Drug War: Big Pharma’s 625 Washington Lobbyists") "

    http://www.mindfully.org/Industry/Pharma-R&D-Myths.htm

    Now you may argue that allowing an investigation is not free market capitalism. Neither are patents, but when monopolies exist they should be economically regulated. But pharmaceutical corporations want it both ways, they want a monopoly and they don't want it to be regulated or scrutinized. When pharmaceutical corporations start receiving monopolies from the government then everyone has a stake in the matter and so it becomes everyone's business to scrutinize those monopolies and ensure they are justified and so how pharmaceutical corporations spend "their" money (or money given to them through monopolies) becomes everyone's business and should be public knowledge and audited and investigated by independent parties.

     

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

  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2009 @ 9:03pm

    Re: Re:

    Also, if pharmaceutical corporations have nothing to hide there is no reason for them to resist such investigations. Until they stop resisting and these audits do occur I will reasonably assume that they are resisting exactly because they have something to hide.

     

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

  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2009 @ 9:12pm

    Re:

    If you, a pharmaceutical corporation, or any entity wants a patent you should have to post a summary documenting all of the money you spent on R&D and related costs that allegedly justify the patent on the Internet for everyone to see in order to justify those patents. One of the pretext of patents is transparency and that should include financial transparency. When you start asking the government for help with your business then your business becomes everyone's business since now everyone has a stake in the matter and as a result your business should be disclosed to everyone.

     

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

  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2009 @ 9:16pm

    Re: Re:

    You should also have to post receipts of all those costs online as well. Making up costs is not good enough, I want to see receipts.

     

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

  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2009 @ 3:58am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Also, it makes sense that the earlier "preliminary" stuff would be more riskier because the less you know about something the more risky it is. When the government conducts research they know the least about the research they are conducted because less research has been conducted so it's more risky. By the time pharmaceutical corporations conduct research they already know more about the research so it's less risky. But of course intellectual property maximists have managed to take common sense and throw it out the window.

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 7th, 2009 @ 4:01am

    Re:

    Also, from your link?

    "Nobody in their right mind will deny that there is a lot of things that are wrong with Big Pharma. Shameless lobbying, physician bribing, exorbitant drug prices all give pharmaceutical industry giants a bad rap. Are patents to blame? Boldrin and Levine argue that they play a big part."

    I think they play a part. In free markets your competitors keep you honest. You act unethically people switch to a competitor. However, if a pharmaceutical corporation owns a drug that you need, then there is no one to keep you honest. You either don't switch or you suffer the consequences.

     

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

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2011 @ 5:10am

    Re: Re: Re:

    (also, if R&D is so expensive, then why does the pharmaceutical industry seem to have little problems spending so much money on gaining political influence?).

     

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


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