More Examples Of Patent Incentives Making The World Less Safe

from the hoarding-the-info-needed-to-save-us dept

For years, we've written about how Indonesia has been hoarding bird flu samples and refusing to share them with researchers, because they're afraid that someone will come in and patent the cure, based on the samples they provide, and that will make it much costlier to Indonesia to get the vaccine. Of course, the end result instead might be no vaccine at all... It looks like we may be facing a similar issue with Ug99, a fungus that is aggressively killing wheat crops in Africa and the Middle East -- potentially having a massive impact on global food supplies. FormerAC alerts us to an article about the fight against Ug99, where it's noted that Pakistan won't share some important samples with the rest of the world, again out of fear that some big company will patent what they find:
As the breeders keep tinkering, South Asia is bracing for impact. The CDL recently tried to get its hands on a suspicious P. graminis sample from Pakistan that is said to knock out Sr31. But the country is reluctant to share: "Some countries regard isolates of their pathogens as part of their genetic heritage," CDL director Marty Carson says. "I guess there's a fear that we'll patent something off of it."
Well, given Monsanto's history of patenting disease resistant crops -- and then over-aggressively attacking anyone who uses such crops (even accidentally), it would seem like a rather legitimate fear. Perhaps, rather than brushing this fear off, the USDA's Cereal Disease Laboratory (CDL) should work to do something to fix things?


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  1.  
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    Richard Corsale (profile), Mar 16th, 2010 @ 9:57am

    Monsanto

    Funny, (not haha funny) I just finished semi-extensive research on Monsanto the other day. It's not paranoia thats keeping these countries so protective of their samples, It's history.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 10:05am

    I got it!

    So, Pakistan is unable to do anything to solve the problem, and they are unable to anything innovative. Rather than letting someone else do something inventive or innovative, they are just going to sit on the samples, which will eventually leak through other means anyone.

    Seems a bit foolish. But, hey, sometimes waiting for 20 or 30 years for a solution is better than having one next year.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 10:19am

    Mike already talked about this.

    What kills me will be my reason to rest.

    As many here, I will leave this world with what is was promised: My work will be done when prescribed by my creator, and my creator alone.

    Until then, there's comments I need to create that Mike will have to moderate.

     

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  4.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Mar 16th, 2010 @ 10:29am

    Re: I got it!

    Agreed, it costs a lot of money for Monsanto to research and figure out how natural processes work, so they can patent and lock up those natural processes.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re: I got it!

    Back in 2006, someone penned a Techdirt article titled "Who Are You And What Have You Done With The Real John Dvorak?"

    Considering that you, Ima Fish, claim to post on Dvorak's blog, I wonder sometimes.

    Use the search utility.

     

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  6.  
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    Rekrul, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 10:42am

    They should offer the samples, but only on the condition that all involved are willing to sign an agreement that cures developed from them won't be patented.

    Of course it would have the same effect, as Monsanto and other companies would never sign such an agreement, but at least then it would make them the bad guys.

     

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  7.  
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    NUKE intellectual property, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 10:43am

    money money

    anyone who yaps about money in any shape way or form should be taken to sit on some ebola

    yea that means YOU
    makes me sick to think knowledge is being restricted while people die or are harmed or harm can be done.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 10:45am

    Re:

    Hmmm.

     

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    NAMELESS.ONE, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 10:45am

    cant wait for an epidempic ruly to start

    and we can then thank HOLLYWOOD and corporations properly for fucking the entire planet

     

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  10.  
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    crade (profile), Mar 16th, 2010 @ 10:47am

    Hording information so someone else doesn't beat you to the patent is how patents promote progress!

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 10:55am

    Re: Re: I got it!

    You think so? If it was so easy, you would think Pakistan would already have done it.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 10:57am

    Re: money money

    Yeah. It is much better to not have anyone do anything with the disease, have all the crops die and then people will starve. That is much better than letting someone with the money and ability to do something about the disease work on it.

    We await Pakistan's solution.

     

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  13.  
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    FatGiant (profile), Mar 16th, 2010 @ 10:58am

    Re:

    Patents promote progress, their own. All the rest, is just "Those Damned Pirates!" talk.

    When I read this stories, I only see a gigantic Gollum: My Preciousss.

    Oh, it's so steep the climb to Mount Doom...

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 10:58am

    Re: cant wait for an epidempic ruly to start

    You think anyone would be working on a cure without patents? Then why isn't Pakistan working on it?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 10:59am

    Re:

    lol...Pakistan did not worry about Monsanto beating them to a patent. Pakistan is worried that someone else knows how to do something they do not, which may well indeed be only Monsanto.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re:

    On the other hand, who is doing anything with the disease? No one.

     

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  17.  
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    Matthew, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 11:01am

    Nobody's going to buy Pakistan's samples, though. Pakistan is being asked to GIVE their samples away. If their samples are useless, nobody wins, nobody loses. If their samples are useful, though, somebody else profits. Pakistan has no guarantee that their samples are worth anything but if it turns out that they are, they will already have given them away. And then, regardless of whether or not their contribution was useful, they're going to be charged to benefit from the solution. It's not exactly rational, but I can kind of understand the, "No thanks. We'll go down in flames with the rest of you" mentality.

     

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  18.  
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    Richard Corsale, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 11:04am

    Re:

    If you pray really hard, maybe your god will keep him from moderating your dribble?

     

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    NAMELESS.ONE, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 11:19am

    stupid capitalists don't get it

    "You think anyone would be working on a cure without patents? Then why isn't Pakistan working on it?"

    UM what did people do before the patent system OMG thy WORKED and shared knowledge to advance society
    and like the ancient dark ages were now entering one thanks to greedy old men with yacht building programs and as oneposter put it creating agiant GOLLUM

    OH MY PRECCCCCIOOOOOUUSS

    thanks to free and piracy i know how to do some amzing graphics stuff and video editing

    id have had to pay thousands a dollars and waste years of my life the regular way.....

    so whose more adapted to invent you that has to wait 3 more years for a piece a paper or me that actually can do it now.
    HA
    and therein lies the crunch of it all
    and if you htink about medicine what happened prior to copyright
    MONKS and the red cross will tell you.
    FREE

     

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  20.  
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    FatGiant (profile), Mar 16th, 2010 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Ooops, forgot to use the proper tags.

    Read my post between ....

    Thanks.

     

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    NAMELESS.ONE, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 11:28am

    @ matthew

    ok i got one for you how about a legal arrangement that any derived medicines or drugs made form said samples given out Pakistan would thus be able to make a version for there people freely could even have a on site person making sure....if its that important.

    fair equatable and gets the bullshit rolling on cures and medicines

    LIKE ENOUGH OF THE FRAKING SICK GREED
    like OMG some posters here must lead absolutely evil lil lives and step on ants all day and push old ladies into oncoming traffic as a joke of the day and take points for these actions and hang out with others and compare daily point totals

    WAKE UP America if you ever want to stop having to fight wars better start treating people fairly

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 11:30am

    Re: stupid capitalists don't get it

    ""You think anyone would be working on a cure without patents? Then why isn't Pakistan working on it?"

    UM what did people do before the patent system OMG thy WORKED and shared knowledge to advance society
    and like the ancient dark ages were now entering one thanks to greedy old men with yacht building programs and as oneposter put it creating agiant GOLLUM"


    I deleted a big chunk of your diatribe, since it was sort of a rant about something that seem irrelevant.

    You want to know what happened before there were patents? Well, a lot, but it took centuries. Science and engineering creeped before patents, that is what happened. It took decades, sometimes centuries, to address some very basic issues. Funny how technology exploded after the creation of a patent system. Also funny that the countries that adopted patents first also progressed the fastest.

    As for medicine prior to copyright, well, I seem to recall doctors getting paid and I seem to recall medicine costing money even before copyrights. Maybe I heard that wrong. But, perhaps sillier, on your part, is that the Red Cross was founded in 1881, WELL after the creation of copyrights, patents and trademarks.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 11:32am

    Re: @ matthew

    If you want your cures to be cheaper, have the government fund them. Oh, that's right, the government does not have any money.

    You and your little socialist friends can go to Pakistan and help the people find a cure, for free. Good luck. See you when you get back!

     

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  24.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 16th, 2010 @ 11:41am

    Re: Re: money money

    It seems to me that it's more about not giving in to the thug who has the gun to your head. "Let me pillage your nation or die!"

    I say that it may be better to die free than to live in bondage. Perhaps these countries are thinking along these lines, and if so, it's rather hard to fault them for such an all-American sentiment.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Re: money money

    There you have it. The good old dog in the manger syndrome. I cannot do anything with what I have because I do not know how, and the only company that I know that can do something with it might spend millions to figure out a cure and I am uninterested in reimbursing them for what they might spend, therefore I will not let anyone do anything with it either.

    Yeah, works for me. Better to "die free" than to pay someone to help you live longer.

     

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  26.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Mar 16th, 2010 @ 12:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: money money

    "I am uninterested in reimbursing them for what they might spend"

    That's not it. It's more about not being forced to give up an asset than about not wanting someone else to make a return on their investment.

    The companies that do this research have a long history of sordid behavior and legalized theft. They have demonstrated that they cannot be trusted. If they were honest players, that would change everything.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Re: stupid capitalists don't get it

    I think science progressed at a slower rate prior to patents is because the world was progressing at a slower rate.

    Time passes, progress speeds up. This isn't rocket surgery. Can you prove that it was the patents that sped the progress up or simply the passing of time?

     

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    another mike (profile), Mar 16th, 2010 @ 12:45pm

    monoculture will kill us all

    There's a much more important point in that article. And that is that most of the world's wheat is one strain which was bred to be resistant to stem rust fungus. Ug99 is a new variant of stem rust which is resistant to wheat.
    A total monoculture; the entire global supply of wheat is a single variety. That goes for most food crops, though. This new fungus strain threatens the world's supply of grain. Beer, bread, whole wheat breakfast cereal, plus wheat gluten is used as a binding agent in a wide variety of foods. The only people that won't be hurt by this are the ones with Celiac's Disease.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 1:10pm

    Are you referring to patents in general, US patents, international patents, patenet specific to one country?

    I can only think that you mean international patents.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: stupid capitalists don't get it

    Conversely, can you prove that the world was progressing slower just because "it was that kind of era" versus the incentive that patents provide?

    Incidentally, there was a great article in Invention & Technology magazine regarding innovation. Though the article was essentially an editorial, the author pointed out that the number of great advances in our current era has not (by the author's estimation) been seen since the latter half of the 19th century. Quite a bold statement. If that statement is true, how is "stifling" from patents relevant and why is the "stifling" no longer occurring, or why is it apparently less than it has been for a century?

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 1:34pm

    Re: monoculture will kill us all

    If that is true, then eventually the stem rust will be transported to a country with the resources to address it. Since there are few governmental agencies with the resources to tackle this kind of disease, it will likely be a company. So, holding back on a sample of the disease merely delays what is likely to be the inevitable.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: money money

    That is a generalization. Your statement may well be true, but your broad brush stroke fundamentally says that all companies that do biological research are, in your estimation, evil. So, what is the solution? Socialize research? That has proven to be such a success in so many countries. Do away with companies that do research? Sounds like spiting your face by cutting off your nose.

     

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  33.  
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    Valkor, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 1:49pm

    Re: Re:

    I think you mean "drivel". As to the GP, I'm pretty sure that God has you on this Earth for a higher purpose than to comment on blog posts.

     

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  34.  
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    Vakor, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 2:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: money money

    "Die free"...
    That doesn't really sound like such a bad idea.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 2:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: stupid capitalists don't get it

    Maybe that's the way it goes. A period of innovation, then stagnation, then innovation, with each lasting about half-a-century.

    If patents lasted half as long as they do would innovation be reduced to a halfrate as well?

    Doubt it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 2:03pm

    Another reason why I HATE big corporations and the U.S. (and other) governments for enabling their corruption.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 2:06pm

    Re: I got it!

    "So, Pakistan is unable to do anything to solve the problem, and they are unable to anything innovative."

    No, it's that Pakistan IS able to come up with the cure WITHOUT monsanto and without patents BUT they don't want Monstanto to independently come up with a similar cure, patent it, and deny Pakistan the right to use it.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 2:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: I got it!

    A: How do you know they haven't.

    B: Sometimes it takes some time to come up with a solution, but that doesn't mean patents are necessary.

    Pakistan would rather hide the data from the rest of the world so that they can come up with a solution they can actually use (no patents needed) instead of allowing some other country to come up with a similar solution and deny them the use of it. and frankly, I don't blame them.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 2:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: I got it!

    The fact is that people have been coming up with cures and solutions to health problems for thousands of years without patents. Patents aren't necessary to come up with a cure to something and I don't blame Pakistan for telling the corrupt unelected government body known as Monstanto to mind its own business.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 2:17pm

    Re:

    Or Monsanto could simply deny that they used their samples to come up with the cure, claiming they got the necessary ingredients elsewhere instead. It certainly wouldn't be beyond a corrupt organization like Monsanto to lie despite what the corrupt mainstream media tells us.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 2:18pm

    Re:

    yeah, and patents are supposed to promote the information and design transparency. Seems they promote the opposite.

    Microsoft has plenty of patents and their software is still closed source.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Re: stupid capitalists don't get it

    Science progressed at a lower rate before the printing press because it was more difficult to create journals and build on new discoveries before the printing press. It has nothing to do with patents. Now that we have the communication structure to store information and build on new information instead of constantly needing to rediscover the same thing it makes it easier to advance. But even so there was plenty of progress before the printing press in the realm of creating faster information distribution methods and better being able to copy information, etc... It's just that our current ability to use this technology to progress couldn't occur before the technology itself was created.

    Also, the population was smaller hence there were less people that could contribute to progress.

    Also, to say that things progressed slower is nonsense. Lots of progress in both medicine and math resulted without patents. It's just that our current progress builds on past progress and without our past progress our current progress would be untenable without first building its foundations. and that requires time as well. But the ancients progressed a LOT, it's just that we now benefit from their progress, we take it for granted, and we can now build on that progress to progress more. It's not like we're going to progress backwards as a result of patents, it's just that patents slow down our current progress. Imagine if their progress was under patent?

    If anything patents are slowing down progress and there is plenty of evidence to support this. There is little to no evidence to say otherwise. Heck, Israel is one of the most innovative nations yet they are more relaxed on IP than most other nations, so at the very least it's evidence against the notion that patents cause innovation, and when taken in context with all the other evidence it contributes to the idea that patents only hinder innovation.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 2:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: stupid capitalists don't get it

    I think it's also worth noting that much of the advancement has occurred where patents didn't exist or weren't enforced. In the tech field (ie: hardware and even software and things like semiconductors) there has traditionally been few patents and even then most of them were unenforced. At one time the government was against the idea of software patents even. Wasn't it Bill gates that said the laptop wouldn't have been invented if it were for patents? Either way, I believe it to be true. Hollywood itself was a product of piracy. Where advancement has occurred it's usually been most prominent in sectors where patents haven't infiltrated them yet.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 2:34pm

    Re: Re: @ matthew

    "If you want your cures to be cheaper, have the government fund them. Oh, that's right, the government does not have any money."

    Oh that's right, the government ALREADY funds them and corporations STILL get a patent on the cures anyways. On top of that journals then get a copyright on the government funded research results.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 2:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: stupid capitalists don't get it

    Progress was slow even after the printing press was developed. The burst in inventiveness began approximately late in the 18th century, led by Great Britain and the United States (two countries that coincidentally were among the first adopters of patent systems), and continued through a good chunk of the 19th century, slowing somewhat near the end of the 19th century.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2010 @ 2:41pm

    and you know, Pakistan isn't the only government doing this. I was reading about other governments that lock up their unique diversity of plants from outside researchers because they want to ensure that they get a patent on anything that's within their ecosystem and that no one else does. I forgot where I read this but it's pretty common for governments to do this.

     

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    anymouse (profile), Mar 16th, 2010 @ 4:36pm

    Ok, since I seem to the only tinfoil hat in the bunch...

    How do we know that Monsanto didn't genetically engineer this fungus with the specific intent of disrupting the worlds wheat supply? Then they can turn around in a year or so and release a genetically modified (and patented) version of the same wheat that they can sell to the entire worlds farmers (while suing those who don't buy their wheat out of business).

    I mean if they didn't create this fungus intentionally, then why haven't they come out and admitted it? Why aren't more people asking these questions?

    This is the only logical way to corner an existing food supply:
    1. Eliminate the existing crop, by releasing a targeted fungus.
    2. Release a resistant and patented crop to replace it (same seed but with one gene changed, AND PATENTED).
    3. PROFIT, PROFIT, PROFIT....

    I'm obviously reaching a little bit here, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if it happened in a year or so, just remember you heard it here first....

     

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  48.  
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    :), Mar 16th, 2010 @ 10:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: stupid capitalists don't get it

    Innovation happened without patents for a long time, the Rome Empire was a dream? the Ottoman Empire was a dream? the Persian Empire was a dream? none had patents and still flourished and were the most advanced civilizations of their times.

    The American history also tells the story of how it happened, most Americans copied trends from Europe and all technologies something that would have been impossible with a strong patent system, the cotton industry saw a big growth largely in part because it did not respect patents at all most inventors that did invent anything didn't get paid ask the guy who invented the spinning mule to see what he got.

    To this day most things new are based on ideas that are not patented because it is just not economical to do it so.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2010 @ 5:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: stupid capitalists don't get it

    More innovation has happened in the last 20 years than in all the history or mankind. Analysts predict that more innovation will occur in the next 10 years than has happened in the entire history of mankind.

    Innovation may have happened without patents, but innovation continues to grow at an exponential rate.

    As for Americans copying trends from Europe, that may have been true, but just as true is that 12 of the 13 states had their own patent system before the Federal government adopted one.

    What few people realize is that patents for new inventions existed in England from before the time America was discovered, so English settlers (and Italian settlers as well) had a history of patents and valued invention prior to coming to America.

    One of the earliest patents granted in the colonies was a 1646 patent for a speedier method of sharpening tools. No, he did not copy his method from Europe. Though you fail to provide a definition of "strong" patent system, patent systems existed throughout the 13 colonies, which must mean that the correct statement would be that "...most Americans copied trends from Europe in addition to being incredibly inventive as evidenced by the numerous patents granted by the colonis, something that helped give the United States a technological head start on the world."

    As for the cotton industry, the growth would have happened even had they respected patents.

    As for your final statement, I absolutely look forward to your supporting documents for that.

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2010 @ 5:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: stupid capitalists don't get it

    "...most Americans copied trends from Europe in addition to being incredibly inventive as evidenced by the numerous patents granted by the colonis"

    I see no reason to believe that number of patents granted is a reasonable measure of innovation. The U.S. patent office grants many patents and most of which are bogus (as evidenced by the fact that we can come up with more examples of bad patents then you can come up with examples of good ones) yet this is hardly a measure of innovation.

    "something that helped give the United States a technological head start on the world."

    Just because the U.S. had a patent system doesn't mean it's what gave them a technological head start. As noted the U.S. traditionally more lenient on IP than other nations, Jefferson had many concerns about the system initially, and that's what gave them a head start. and what's more is that we flourished the most in sectors that ignored patents the most (ie: mathematics and tech like semiconductors). Israel is one of the most lenient nations when it comes to IP yet they are one of the most innovative. Hollywood itself was built on piracy. There is no evidence to suggest that patent systems or stricter ones encourage innovation, that's just something you made up.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2010 @ 6:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: stupid capitalists don't get it

    Patent systems were around before the U.S and great Britain. but as noted here

    http://wiki.monticello.org/mediawiki/index.php/Patents

    The U.S. was initially very strict about what they granted patents on, Jefferson was very cautious about them. So the laws were generally much less restrictive in terms of innovation in the U.S. and that also helped influence our initial advancement. Now the U.S. seems to be more restrictive on patents and granting more patents and the advancement seems to be shifting over to nations with more lenient patent systems like Israel.

     

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

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2010 @ 6:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: stupid capitalists don't get it

    The fact is that there is absolutely nothing supporting the notion that patents help innovation and you know it. You just want your monopoly rents, just like the RIAA, and would come up with anything (ie: like the idea that piracy undermines humanitarian efforts in Hati) to persuade people to give you your unearned monopoly rents. That's all this is and you know it, just like with the RIAA and the cableco companies who don't want competition who would also claim anything, no matter how much of a lie it is, to convince people that it isn't the government sanctioned lack of competition that causes the U.S. to fall behind in broadband but it has something to do with population density (despite the fact that states with much higher population densities in the U.S. have worse broadband plans than countries with much lower population densities abroad, but they fail to mention that). There is incentive for you to lie, you want your monopoly rents, and I understand this but you must realize that patents cause a known economic harm and there is plenty of evidence suggesting they only harm innovation so in order for them to exist the burden of proof is on YOU to justify them.

    Not to mention 20 years is way too long being that the present value of future returns 20 years from now is hardly enough to justify further current investment in anything. A present value analysis alone should refute a twenty year patent length.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2010 @ 6:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: stupid capitalists don't get it

    and don't give me this risk nonsense, that pharmaceutical investment is risky and hence deserves longer patents or something. If you know anything about present value analysis, the HIGHER the risk, the LESS current dollars you will invest for future dollars. A higher risk factor means that current dollars have a higher relative value to future income and this is especially true as you travel to the more distant future.

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2010 @ 6:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: stupid capitalists don't get it

    and the fact is that the laws in place have created a mainstream media that doesn't adequately discuss the problems with our current IP system, despite the fact that our IP system is almost entirely indefensible. For that alone our system loses all credibility.

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2010 @ 8:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: stupid capitalists don't get it

    "The fact is that there is absolutely nothing supporting the notion that patents help innovation and you know it."

    Wow, you actually got that right. Of course, patents support INVENTION, not innovation. Innovation is supported by success in the market place. Now, how many innovations are based on inventions?

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2010 @ 8:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: stupid capitalists don't get it

    "Seems" is the operative word. The U.S. granted 157,500 utility patents in 2000 and 157,800 utility patents in 2008. The numbers of patents granted in the U.S. has flattened out.

    As for "advancement shifting," the U.S. continues to be listed as the most inventive and innovative country in the world. However, you would expect that as other nations advance that there should be some shift. China particularly has set internal goals for their patent system in an attempt to become the most inventive and innovative country in the world.

    As for "restrictive," you definition is somewhat vague, but to the extent I understand your description, the peak year of "restrictiveness" on patents was 2004. Since 2004, the pendulum has been swinging the opposite direction and continues to swing in the opposite direction as patents in the U.S. have become more restricted by judicial and administrative action.

     

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

  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2010 @ 8:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: stupid capitalists don't get it

    You always seem to find someone interested in a rant. I wonder if these same people have road rage?

     

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

  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2010 @ 10:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: stupid capitalists don't get it

    Patents support neither.

     

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  59.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2010 @ 10:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: stupid capitalists don't get it

    "As for "advancement shifting," the U.S. continues to be listed as the most inventive and innovative country in the world."

    Actually Sweden is

    http://www.indiatimes.com/Most-innovative-countries/Sweden/photostory/5576193.cms

    and they have the pirate party for one.

    "China particularly has set internal goals for their patent system in an attempt to become the most inventive and innovative country in the world."

    Even if true, this doesn't mean that patents will help them become innovative and inventive.

    Also, Japan ranks first, and they don't have the patent system that we have.

    http://rankingamerica.wordpress.com/2009/05/21/the-u-s-ranks-3rd-in-innovation/

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2010 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: stupid capitalists don't get it

    Err. after going through more websites it turns out that Japan actually has more patents per million in terms of population (though that doesn't mean they have more overall patents of course)

    http://graphics.eiu.com/PDF/Cisco_Innovation_Methodology.pdf

    It seems that the main criteria used to determine innovation in this paper, however, is the amount of patents that one holds.

    "Although it is the single best available measure of innovation output, patent numbers are an imperfect
    proxy for overall innovation activity."

    Of course this is terrible logic because it assumes what IP maximists want to prove, that more patents = more innovation and since there are more patents there must be more innovation. This is nonsense of course.

     

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  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2010 @ 11:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: stupid capitalists don't get it

    Also if the U.S. is the most innovative nation yet Japan has more patents then at least that's evidence against the notion that more patents = more innovation.

     

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

  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2010 @ 7:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: stupid capitalists don't get it

    Not true. Patents remain an incentive for thousands of inventors.

     

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

  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2010 @ 8:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: stupid capitalists don't get it

    ""As for "advancement shifting," the U.S. continues to be listed as the most inventive and innovative country in the world."

    Actually Sweden is

    http://www.indiatimes.com/Most-innovative-countries/Sweden/photostory/5576193.cms

    and they have the pirate party for one."

    I stand corrected, the U.S. apparently got bumped from the top spot in 2009, maybe before. What surprised me is that the reason they got bumped was due to what I normally consider "non-innovation" factors; high national debt, high medical expensese, an aging population, high debt load, and other factors.

    As for Sweden, apparently since the arrival of the pirate party Sweden has fallen far, going from #1 to #10...

    http://rankingamerica.wordpress.com/2009/05/21/the-u-s-ranks-3rd-in-innovation/

    http:// keithsawyer.wordpress.com/2009/04/09/the-most-innovative-countries/


    ""China particularly has set internal goals for their patent system in an attempt to become the most inventive and innovative country in the world."

    Even if true, this doesn't mean that patents will help them become innovative and inventive.

    Also, Japan ranks first, and they don't have the patent system that we have."

    Actually, Japan's position has also moved, they are now #9, and you are right, they do not have the system we do. Theirs is much more lenient.

    http://images.businessweek.com/ss/09/03/0312_innovative_countries/23.htm

    http://keith sawyer.wordpress.com/2009/04/09/the-most-innovative-countries/


    As for your comment regarding Chinese patents, their National Intellectual Property Strategy articulates their goal of becoming the world's most innovative country largely be becoming dominant in intellectual property...

    http://www.gov.cn/english/2008-06/21/content_1023471.htm

    Probably you should go tell them it will not work since you know these things better than them.

     

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

  64.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2010 @ 8:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: stupid capitalists don't get it

    However, intellectual destructionists also fail to realize what others have, innovation is no substitute for invention, as noted in the linked article:

    "According to Forrester, developed nations such as the US and Japan are spending on average $1,270 per capita per year on research and development with little to show for their science and technology investment. Taxpayer money is being wasted because many politicians and bureaucrats confuse innovation with invention."

    http://www.govtech.com/gt/articles/104255

    While innovation may be a lovely thing, it is not necessarily the best driver for science and technology development.

     

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

  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2010 @ 8:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: stupid capitalists don't get it

    Uh, Japan has MORE PATENTS PER MILLION people, not more patents in absolute numbers.

    However, patent realists also know that patents do not equal innovation. Science is not equal to invention is not equal to innovation, and we would not want that, would we? Science is typically supported by a patronage system. Invention is supported by R&D dollars and is incentivized by patents. Innovation is incentivized by sales. Seems like such a nice, tidy system.

     

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

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 18th, 2010 @ 5:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: stupid capitalists don't get it

    Ah, yes. It also seems that the number of patents in the U.S. issued to Americans as compared to the rest of the world has dropped. In the 1990's, Americans received 15 to 20% more patents than foreigners. In the last several years, Americans have received just less than 5% more patents than foreigners at the same time innovation in the U.S. is going down as compared to other countries.

    So, if you are going to claim that some people use patents as a proxy for innovation, then those people may have a case since U.S. innovation has dropped with the U.S. share of issued patents in this country.

     

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


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