Cures For Paralysis, Diabetes And Blindness Hindered By Patents

from the more-people-are-figuring-it-out dept

We've talked a lot about how patents actually hinder the rate of innovation in many research areas. That's because nearly all innovation does not work on "the one big breakthrough" theory, but on incremental improvements over time, that all add up to big changes. But when you put a tollbooth and a decades-long monopoly on each incremental change, you massively slow down the rate of innovation. And, it's even worse in scientific research areas. That's because a lot of successful scientific innovation comes about from researchers sharing data and information with each other to get the ideas and inspirations to make the next leap. But with the rise in patenting basic science, scientists have been holding back information, slowing down their own breakthroughs.

Thankfully, more and more people are recognizing this issue. Scientists working on things involving embryonic stem cell research are complaining that patents are massively hindering their ability to advance their research, and it may be holding back cures for paralysis, diabetes and blindness, among other things.
Lanza recalls bumping up against his company's main competitor, Geron Corporation, when it came to researching stem cells in reversing diabetes, a process he said he had been working on with animals for many years.

"When I came to ACT to try to do it with stem cells I couldn't because the rights to use embryonic stem cells for diabetes had been exclusively licensed to Geron," he said.

"Here I was, a scientist trying to cure diabetes and I couldn't use my entire lifetime of expertise to try and develop that technology," he said.
The article notes that if the US keeps this up, other countries are likely to leapfrog us in terms of the research that they do, creating huge commercial opportunities and life-saving treatments, while the US wastes away fighting each other in court. Yet another reason why President Obama's suggestion that we're more innovative because we get more patents is completely off the mark.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Christopher Gizzi (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 9:06am

    Good.

    We get what we deserve.

    Its no wonder why some people fly to Europe for special treatments for disease. A combination of price and general availability combined with the FDA's review process (where it is slow to review some treatments but quick to approve others) helps ensure America's average lifespan continues to decline.

    I'm convinced that breakthrough innovation is dead in America. Its all about lazy & protective laws to feed a cash cow. And I hope that true progress takes place in Europe but I'm sure that once they get to where we are now, they'll fold, too, and patent up and slow medical breakthroughs down to a crawl.

     

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  2.  
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    Rekrul, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:05am

    I have both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. For about two years, I took part in a drug trial using Orencia. My arthritis improved to the point where it no longer bothered me and my psoriasis was somewhat improved. Then the company dumped all the trials because they weren't getting the results that they wanted. Even if I wanted to continue taking that drug, I wouldn't be able to because it's not approved for PA. If it was, it would cost me over $4,000 a month!

    Now I'm on a new study aimed at psoriasis, which also seems to be helping the arthritis. I'm sure that once this study eventually ends, this drug won't be available for years and will be outrageously expensive as well.

    Healthcare in the US isn't about helping people, it's about making the drug companies richer.

     

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  3.  
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    Jay (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:05am

    Re: Good.

    That's what happens in most countries unfortunately. Lawyers understand the law and work their cases based on those incentives.

    I understand that people want to say that Europe is getting better, but sadly, I don't think that's the case. The border patrol there continues to impede on progress to the Middle East, such as medicines to India. Link

    While there is innovation, I'm pretty sure from the research it can't progress until there is less patent protection getting in the way.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:05am

    Well, since embryonic stem sell research (as opposed to adult stem cell research) is wrong, I would say that this is one area where patents are doing a good thing.

     

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    John Doe, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:08am

    Re:

    I agree.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:09am

    While curing paralysis, blindness and Brimley's disease are arguably good causes, shouldnt the hard work that goes into those cures be rewarded?

    So eventually a scientist does make the big break through and cures paralysis -- all the hard work he used for free shouldnt get rewarded? The one that actually accomplishes something is the only one that gets rewarded?

    A twisted world the freetards live in.

     

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  7.  
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    Ben (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:13am

    Re:

    "since embryonic stem sell(sic) research ... is wrong"

    Says who? You? Ok then your opinion wins. Lets go back to the days before penicillin and electricity too 'kay?

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:14am

    According to the NIH website, quite a few groups are working on treating diabetes with stem cell research. Maybe this guy Lonza just has an agenda?

    Yeah, Americans will go to Europe for new drugs, especially considering there are quite a few drugs on the market here in the US that are not available in Europe.

     

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  9.  
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    John Doe, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:14am

    Re:

    Is this your first time here? Sounds like it.

    First, how can stem cell or any genetic research be patented/licensed? You did not create the cells or the DNA. Second, nobody said the cure had to be free. A limited term patent on the cure would be fine and allow the company to recoup their cost plus some profit.

    The gist of this article is patenting of genes is ridiculous.

     

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  10.  
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    Steven (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:14am

    Re:

    I would agree if the way to get embryonic stem cells is to kill babies, but that is not at all the case.

     

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  11.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:16am

    Re:

    But you're not thinking of the guy who is on the brink of creating the cure not being able to due to the competition locking up the next step. The competition didn't make a break threw, they only stopped this guy from making it.

    The person that succeeded should be rewarded, but you should need to be the person succeeding to get the reward. That is not happening here.

     

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  12.  
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    Ben (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:17am

    Re:

    Erm, scientists get paid a daily rate to work for reseachers surely?

    I don't want any company knocking on my door saying "erm, we found another license holder or patent owner on the medicine you're taking. We have to pay them too, so cough up another dollar per week or we take your meds"

    We don't pay shakespears heirs every time one of his plays or books is used (despite them being without copyright) but the copyrightists would have us seek someone to pay for the work he did 400 years ago

     

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  13.  
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    John Doe, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re:

    So fertilized eggs don't count as babies in your book?

    http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/basics3.asp

     

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  14.  
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    Ben (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re:

    Then you've not seen the Christopher Reeves episode of South Park.

    HE EATS BABIES BRAINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And as we all know, South Park is based on fact

     

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  15.  
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    Ben (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You can get them elsewhere also.

     

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    John Doe, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But are they getting them from elsewhere?

     

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  17.  
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    Michael, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:27am

    Re:

    Why do you think working hard on something means you should get paid for it?

    If you work really hard at your job but fail to yield any results, would you be likely to get fired?

    It's like an entire generation of people who were given an "A for effort" in grade school that balanced out the F they got for coming up with the wrong result. If you cannot monetize your work, why should someone else who does (especially when they came up with the answer independently) have to pay you?

     

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    Coward (Anon), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:30am

    Working models?

    Maybe we need to go back to the idea of requiring a working model before issuing patents. I seem to remember that at least in some counties a patent application had to be accompanied by a working model of said invention. If nothing else it eliminates all the perpetual motion/time travel patents.

    Getting a patent on the plan to use stem cells to cure a disease is a long way from actually being able to do it. I don't necessarily object to a patent on a working drug (but, yes I do understand that it will hinder those working on improved versions of the drug) the the idea of getting a patent because you thought stem cells might work as a cure just seems ludicrous.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:31am

    Re: Re:

    The person that succeeded should be rewarded, but you should need to be the person succeeding to get the reward. That is not happening here.

    You're assuming that only one person is succeeding. You're assuming that the companies that hold the tollgate patents aren't also working on a cure. Why would the late comers get to cut in line that someone else blazed?

     

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  20.  
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    Jimr (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:31am

    So this is how America will fall from a world power... not due to war or economics but by the gavel of the court as the system strangles itself out.

    All thanks to the lawyers and the short sighted unabashed greed of individuals.

     

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  21.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But doesn't that question fall under the "I don't know how they're doing it so it must be wrong" category?

    Just because you don't know exactly how it's being done doesn't mean that it's being done in the wrong way.

    Plus we're not looking at the bigger picture. Is that illegal? I don't know. Would those fertilized eggs have been aborted other ways? I don't know that ether. If he could do this, would it save many more lives. Can't say that ether. Far too many variables to say if this is right or wrong.

     

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  22.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:33am

    Re: Good.

    Long lives are a drag on the economy, and would reveal the Social Security fund for the ponzi scheme that it is. Better to have most people die just before they start collecting social security checks, that way the books balance.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:33am

    Re: Re:

    I don't want any company knocking on my door saying "erm, we found another license holder or patent owner on the medicine you're taking. We have to pay them too, so cough up another dollar per week or we take your meds"

    It's a matter of perspective. I'm sure you wouldn't mind someone knocking on your door and giving you a dollar every week.

    We don't pay shakespears heirs every time one of his plays or books is used (despite them being without copyright) but the copyrightists would have us seek someone to pay for the work he did 400 years ago

    And how much has shakespeare's work advanced in the open market? Not very much. There hasn't been a classic new sharespeare in years despite all his work being editable.

     

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  24.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    They haven't succeeded ether. They just blocked the path so no one else can even try.

     

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  25.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:34am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It has recently proven possible the garner stem cells from adults, even from adults' fat cells.

    We could easily have liposuction/stem cell harvesting clinics using one to under-write the other.

     

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  26.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:36am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "And how much has shakespeare's work advanced in the open market? Not very much. There hasn't been a classic new sharespeare in years despite all his work being editable."

    Don't know if you're aware of this, but Shakespeare is dead. He's not going to be creating anything new.

    There have been hundreds if not thousands of works that have been created from Shakespeare's work. Some good, some bad, some even advancing the medium I would say.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    They haven't succeeded ether.

    Yet. They have until their patents run out to try.

     

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  28.  
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    MrWilson, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:41am

    Re:

    "So eventually a scientist does make the big break through and cures paralysis -- all the hard work he used for free shouldnt get rewarded? The one that actually accomplishes something is the only one that gets rewarded?"

    Do you pay Tim Berners-Lee a fee every time you post nonsense on the world wide web?

    For that matter, do you pay your parents a fee every time you speak since they taught you language?

    Would you let someone die or live a significantly diminished life when you knew you could help them just because they weren't able to pay you for research you'd already done?

    "A twisted world the freetards live in."

    (It is) a twisted world the greedy people live in.

     

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  29.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Additionally, Shakespeare shamelessly pillaged from the works of others at the time; and was also shameless copied from.

    You see, there was no copyright in Shakespeare's time. Playwrights and conductors had to keep producing new things in order to make money. And they did...

     

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  30.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And while they're spending their twenty years "trying", others can't. So right now we have all our eggs in one basket.

     

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  31.  
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    jjmsan (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:46am

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

    The fertilized eggs they have been trying to use are in a petri dish. They are developed for people who are infertile and are destroyed when they are no longer needed.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You're love of humanity is too much!

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Nope, they don't have a brain, eyes, nervous system or anything like that, they are just a bunch of cells at that stage, just like your skin cells.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And look how badly the arts suffered for that kind of hubris. Thankfully copyright protection has given us millions of Shakespeares. Billions I say!

     

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  35.  
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    John Doe, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:56am

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

    According to the link I posted above, most come from fertilized eggs so you would be wrong.

    Only one variable in my book that makes it right or wrong. Every embryo that survives to birth results in a human baby. They don't result in monkeys, emus, sea turtles or any other creature. So every fertilized egg is a human life in my book.

     

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    Hawkmoon (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:58am

    Seems to me that scientists used to research and invent for the betterment of mankind, not a get rich quick scheme. But everyone knows there are very few independent scientists these days, everyone works for a company. And the company model is there is no money in the cure, but the treatment of the disease.

     

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  37.  
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    Christian Martinez, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:58am

    patents

    "But when you put a tollbooth and a decades-long monopoly on each incremental change, you massively slow down the rate of innovation."

    This is where your argument will be attacked. Others will argue that patents promote innovation, not hinder it, because it encourages disclosure of scientific breakthroughs. Otherwise, it'll be all governed by trade secrets, which also would hinder innovation.

     

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  38.  
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    Jay (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Bullshit. There's more evidence of a company squatting on a patent for profit than there is in making a newer drug to cure something.

    Claritin vs Clarinex

    Eli Lilly's reliance on patents

    NIH impeding progress

    pharmaceutical patents don't add up

    Pfizer and US government for lawsuits

    Pharma monopoly

    Enjoy.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 11:05am

    Re:

    What hard work?

    Those people didn't invent anything, they didn't create anything, heck they don't even have a product, but they got a f'ing patent already.

    Those people like you are parasites, the real parasites of society that don't produce anything and are trying to make believe that are somehow important without doing any real work.

     

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  40.  
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    Thomas (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 11:07am

    drug companies..

    are all about profit, NOT about such things as curing disease. If they cured diseases, where would the profit come from?

    If a drug company earns 20 million helping 500,000 people, but 10 million for helping 2 million people, they would choose to help the 500,000.

    Considering that lots of the research is funded by government grants, withholding results for profit is an abomination.

     

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  41.  
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    Christian Martinez, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 11:14am

    Backatyah

    OK, citing a few cases purporting to demonstrate a nation-wide problem isn't sufficient.

    One could just as easily dig up cases where disclosure of an invention resulted in others building upon it, who otherwise would not have been able to. I'm not disagreeing that Patents can be a hinderance, but one must ask why and how to prove or disprove the argument that they promote innovation. What solutions are there? What's the alternative, secrecy? Hide the ball?

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 11:15am

    Re: patents

    Exactly. More over, without ways to turn scientific discovery into potentially profitable products, many of the companies currently spending billions would instead just invest in bonds or overseas casinos to make money.

    The patent system isn't a one way street. This whole story is sort of the Masnick Effect at work again, showing only one narrow side of the story to try to boost up the desired result, which is "patents suck". But Mr Masnick never addresses the investment side, the money side of the whole deal. On those points, he is incredibly mute, a total shock for someone with a business degree. He knows the answers, but the answers do not support his point of view.

     

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  43.  
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    rooben (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 11:16am

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

    And every sperm in your body, if it fertilizes and egg, can end up being a human being as well.
    Is that a baby in your book?
    So, you are calling murder every time a mother fertilizes 10 eggs, and then choses one to develop - is that mass murder? How about when a mother's body rejects a fertilized egg - is that manslaughter?

    The thing I really can't stand is people with this position, never look at the effects of their stance beyond the birth. If every fertilized egg is a potential human, and all potential humans have a right to exist, please tell me what you propose to do with the mass increases of poverty, population, and children in the system to support such a stance? Oh right, the churches should just take care of it, and you should only have sex when you are trying to make a baby.
    Right. Good luck with that.

     

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  44.  
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    xs (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 11:17am

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

    Every children that survive into adulthood will result in an adult, so all children are adults?

    Every living human will die at some point in their life, so everyone is dead.

    Everything you eat turns into Sh*t that come out of your ass*ole, so you ate sh*t all your life.

     

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  45.  
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    Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 11:18am

    Re:

    Correct. It is a very twisted world indeed where human lives take precedence over profits and personal gains. Freetards.

    Moving past the sarcasm, if it wasn't for that last sentence, I would have been convinced you were writing a satire of your position. It's difficult for me to believe that there exist people so lacking in empathy that they could seriously write what you wrote.

     

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  46.  
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    coldbrew, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 11:19am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You're breaking my balls, Mr. Thompson.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 11:19am

    Re:

    when's the last time an individual scientist was so "rewarded" for his work?

    here's what really happens: a scientist makes a breakthrough while working for a pharmaceutical company. he continues to draw his salary, while the company gets all the credit and financial rewards.

     

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  48.  
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    Jeff, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 11:26am

    Research Exemption; Public Disclosure

    First, the supreme court recently addressed the nature of the research exemption to patent infringement. It is not clear why a researcher would be concerned about conducting research because there should be no risk of infringement liability resulting from the research.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research_exemption
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merck_v._Integra

    The notion that researchers are not sharing information because of patents does not make much sense. The nature of a patent is that the research and innovation must be publicly disclosed. While someone surely would keep thier research secret prior to filing a patent application, it seems doubtful that this period of confidentiality would be any shorter absent the patent system. Typically an inventor/researcher would file a patent application as soon as possible after reaching a research conclusion in order to beat out any competitors. I doubt that a researcher would release a half-baked idea or study because of the risk to their reputation that could result from an improper conclusion. Accordingly, even without patents it seems likely that a researcher would wait until arriving at a conclusion before sharing their work with others.

    Just like Duke was caught in a hypocritical situation recently, it would be interesting to see if the researchers here have patents of their own.
    http://ipwatchdog.com/2010/04/27/patent-reality-check-the-hypocrisy-of-duke-university-on-pate nts/id=10184/

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 11:30am

    Re:

     

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    John Doe, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 11:30am

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

    "And every sperm in your body, if it fertilizes and egg, can end up being a human being as well. Is that a baby in your book?"

    IF it fertilized an egg, then yes.

    "So, you are calling murder every time a mother fertilizes 10 eggs, and then choses one to develop - is that mass murder?"

    Didn't know mothers could fertilize eggs, thought that took fathers. Not sure what you mean here.

    "How about when a mother's body rejects a fertilized egg - is that manslaughter?"

    That is a natural process, so obviously it is not murder.

    "please tell me what you propose to do with the mass increases of poverty, population, and children in the system to support such a stance"

    I propose people take care of themselves and their offspring. Why is it liberals such as yourself pretend to care about the poor yet want to exterminate them through abortion? How much do you do for the poor?

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 11:34am

    Re: Backatyah

    I don't care if they "hide the ball" they can hide their balls all they want, what I want is to play with my balls, not be stopped by someone for doing so.

    That doesn't sound right, but you started the ball analogy.

     

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  52.  
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    John Doe, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 11:34am

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

    "Every children that survive into adulthood will result in an adult, so all children are adults?"

    Child vs. adult are artificial labels we assign, they are all humans.

    "Every living human will die at some point in their life, so everyone is dead."

    This is more true than you realize.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 11:37am

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

    I look and see no suffering for the arts using that hubris, but I do see a lot of people annoyed at copyrights.

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 11:49am

    Re:

    shouldnt the hard work that goes into those cures be rewarded?

    Is money the only thing you ever think about?

    I don't usually think that emotional arguments are productive, but when we're talking about curing diseases, they can be.

    Maybe to me the issue of patents and medical research personal. My little sister was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 7 years old. The unadulterated fury I feel about this issue cannot be adequately described unless you have a loved one in the same situation.

    It will take years or decades for cures to be developed from the research being done now. And that research is being slowed, hindered, or stopped altogether because some company has locked a critical piece up so they are the only ones to profit from it. Those years and decades may be all that my little sister has before she develops serious complications or dies.

    A twisted world the freetards live in.

    I'll let what I already said answer that.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 11:54am

    Re: Research Exemption; Public Disclosure

    Apparently the number of drug approvals have decline since patents got easier.

    Is that not beautiful?

     

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

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 11:58am

    Wikileaks: "An Examination of the Issues Surrounding Biotechnology Patenting and its Effect Upon Entrepreneurial Companies", United States Congressional Research Service, August 31, 2000

    People know, that it hinders research, even the government knows that, but for some reason(i.e. greed) those same people are blind when pointed in that direction.

     

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

  57.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Backatyah

    Then I'll cite the big ones. Namely Thomas Edison ( here) and James Watt (here)

    You have to ask one question with at least these two. Did the market get bigger with them patent squatting or did it grow afterwards?

    Edison admitted defeat in trying to monetize the film industry through patents. As the film makers resisted his patents, they found ways to work around them and continue to make money by constant innovation.

    With James Watt, the steam engine industry EXPLODED after his death and subsequent fight in the patent offices.

    Furthermore, you also have to look at the ridiculousness of the things patented. I know that there are articles talking about how the patent office has approved patents by 30%. Quality and quantity of patents can't mix. It's so similar to oil and water, it's not funny.

    If I could, I would find the article about the patent that was turned over to public domain and the results but I forgot the name of the company... And help on this one?

     

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

  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 12:06pm

    Re: Research Exemption; Public Disclosure

    Apparently the number of drug approvals have decline since patents got easier.

    Is that not beautiful?

     

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

  59.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 12:07pm

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

    I think he was being sarcastic?

    Maybe...

    Regardless, if they made Romeo and Juliet based off of Shakespeare in modern day, he must have done something right...

     

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

  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re:

    You're in luck. It was a total troll post to pass a boring lunch stuck in a cube.

     

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

  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 12:20pm

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

    As any True Scotsman can tell you, you're absolutely wrong.

     

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

  62.  
    icon
    rooben (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 12:25pm

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

    Crack me up - you are talking about ex-vitro fertilization. Sperm from a syringe. Instead of playing dumb, why don't you try to actually debate, instead of looking for a way to bring in ABORTION. This isn't mommy and daddy - its a sterile lab with eggs and sperm.
    The research that YOU posted said that these eggs were NEVER inside a mother, they are 100% from lab fertilization.

    So, they are eggs cooked up in a lab, and you think that God has a plan for each and every one. Too bad, I thought you might have a real debate. Can't argue that - people are magic!

    So - Lab babies, John Doe thinks that each one is precious. Do you think that the entire practice of lab fertilization should end (since, God wanted a man and woman only to have babies naturally), or are you really saying that if the lab creates 10 embryos to get 1 viable, that all 10 should be raised ala Octomom?

     

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

  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 12:28pm

    America's average lifespan continues to decline

    "helps ensure America's average lifespan continues to decline."


    The average lifespan of American citizens is in decline?

     

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

  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 12:37pm

    Could someone explain to me why embryonic stem cell research is still even going on? Adult stem cells are the same thing, except they actually work better (they've already been used to cure dozens of things, with embryonic stem cells having cured jack squat last I heard), and they don't have even the spectre of moral dilemma attached.

    Why are these scientists so fixated on a directly inferior method?

     

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

  65.  
    icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 12:39pm

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

    "Child vs. adult are artificial labels we assign, they are all humans."

    While the combination of letters used in the words "child" and "adult" are just labels, the stages they describe are vary distinct points in human development. Specifically stages in reproductive maturity. If anyone would know that, you should, Mr. Holier Than Thou.

    "This is more true than you realize."

    Please, go be emo somewhere else. We get enough depressing news here, we don't need your personal demons.

     

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

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: Research Exemption; Public Disclosure

    The number of drug approvals has dropped since the low hanging fruit has been all taken care of, and new research is very expensive, very time consuming, and the testing required insanely expensive. Anything less than an absolute home run no longer makes it to market, because the legal liability of something that has even the slightest adverse reaction (beyond digestive issues or headaches) is too high.

    Please don't try to apply the Masnick Effect!

     

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

  67.  
    identicon
    AJ, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 1:02pm

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

    Anyone got a ladder? We need to get John Doe off his moral high horse, I think he's been up there long enough.... Him and those hypocritical maniacs with the fish sticker on the back of their cars that keep trying to run me off the road on my way to work in the mornings......

     

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

  68.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 1:09pm

    Re: So fertilized eggs don't count as babies in your book?

    Nobody I know who claims that fertilized eggs are human beings, actually treats them as such.

    When a human being dies, you give them a funeral. Since when do pro-lifers give fertilized eggs a funeral?

    Even in a womanís body, somewhere around 50% of fertilized eggs fail to implant and are spontaneously aborted, simply flushed out with the menstrual flow. Surely if pro-lifers were true to their beliefs, they would collect this flow and give it a decent burial, wouldnít they? But they donít.

    Iím not saying hypocrisy is grounds for questioning a principle, but itís certainly a strong hint.

     

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

  69.  
    identicon
    Charlie Potatoes, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 1:11pm

    Re:

    Petitio Principii ... (look it up)

     

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

  70.  
    identicon
    TDR, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 1:34pm

    There is nothing embryonic stem cells can do that adult ones can't. So there's no reason to use embryonic ones. One could avoid the controversy by using adult stem cells exclusively, which as I've just said, can do everything that embryonic ones can. So again, why specifically are embryonic ones needed?

    Also, it doesn't matter where an embryo is fertilized, be in in a mother or in a lab - the very act of fertilization makes it a unique entity distinct from the egg and sperm used to make it because its DNA is different from both, thus making it a separate lifeform.

    The thing about prochoicers is that they only define things as human if they look like it - they don't look at the genetic code at all or any of the fundamental science involved. This support for choice is only a cover to justify being able to take the easy way out. If it was truly right, it wouldn't have to be justified - there would be no doubt by anyone. Neither you nor anyone else knows what a given unborn child will grow up to become or would have grown up to become. So who are we to decide whether they have that chance or not?

     

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

  71.  
    identicon
    duderino, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 1:39pm

    Re:

    @anon

    ha, pick and choose from the book, that's what a real religious person does!

    Have you sold your daughter into slavery yet?
    Have you killed someone for working on a sunday?
    Why do you believe and worship the god of the second half of the bible when the first two commandments clearly state there is only 1 and no other?

    Also, Troll?

     

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

  72.  
    icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 1:43pm

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

    "Him and those hypocritical maniacs with the fish sticker on the back of their cars that keep trying to run me off the road on my way to work in the mornings"

    Shit, you too? I thought it was just me.

     

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

  73.  
    icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 1:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Research Exemption; Public Disclosure

    "because the legal liability of something that has even the slightest adverse reaction (beyond digestive issues or headaches) is too high."

    Have you read some of the warnings that come with the new drugs out these days? They're three pages of really tiny text.

     

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

  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    No, they are as much babies as the sperm you throw away in your tissue. if your standards were held you should be tied for crimes against humanity. don't say that the moment the egg becomes fertilized it somehow gets a soul and a new definition, its just a bunch of substances held together

     

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

  75.  
    icon
    Gabriel Tane (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 1:55pm

    Re:

    Your argument seems valid, but let me counter...

    1) Adult stim cells are not the same and are not as useful:
    http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/basics5.asp.
    http://www.explorestemcells.co.uk/AdultVSEmbryonicStemCells.html
    http://www.stemcellresearchfacts .org/
    Sorry.

    2) You state that once the egg and sperm are combined, it makes a new entity, but you fail to define that entity. I can mix hydrogen together with oxygen and get something distinct from both, but the origins are still identifiable... same with DNA. And again, define "life form"... that's the source of most of the controversy.

    3) Why bring prochoice vs prolife into it? Weíre not talking about abortion here; we're talking about harvesting stem cells from unused fertilized embryos from in-vetro fertilization method of pregnancy. What do you think happens to the unused fertilized eggs?

     

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

  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 2:20pm

    Re:

    Your skin cells are alive, do you care that they die by the thousands everyday?

     

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

  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Research Exemption; Public Disclosure

    This is not the Masnick Effect is the copytroll effect.

     

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

  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 2:29pm

    Re: patents

    Who cares about trade secrets, we are living on the information age, there is no secrets that people can't unlock.

     

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

  79.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 2:50pm

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

    "The research that YOU posted said that these eggs were NEVER inside a mother, they are 100% from lab fertilization."

    Yes, I saw that and my position doesn't change. Creating fertilized eggs for research, or probably any purpose, is wrong.

     

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

  80.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 2:54pm

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

    "Specifically stages in reproductive maturity."

    Which proves my point that the labels are meaningless in a debate on when an embryo becomes a human.

    "If anyone would know that, you should, Mr. Holier Than Thou."

    Funny that I am the one that is holier than thou just because I disagree with you. Why do you assume that I am the one that is holier than thou rather than you?

    "we don't need your personal demons"

    No personal demons here.

     

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

  81.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 2:56pm

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

    "Him and those hypocritical maniacs with the fish sticker on the back of their cars"

    You are right, I don't know a single non-fish sticker car person that is a hypocrite. Now that I know how to identify a one I will be on the look out for them.

     

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

  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 7:51pm

    Re: Backatyah

    "OK, citing a few cases purporting to demonstrate a nation-wide problem isn't sufficient."

    Fact is, I can cite more bad patents than you can good patents.

     

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

  83.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 7:59pm

    Re: Backatyah

    "What's the alternative, secrecy? Hide the ball?"

    If a company chooses to get a patent it's because they know that a patent is the only way to protect the idea from being used by others because if they thought that keeping it a secret is good enough to keep it from others (or to keep others from independently coming up with the same idea) then they wouldn't have any incentive to reveal it to others through a patent.

    Even if one company chooses to be secretive, chances are they would have been secretive regardless. Coca Cola and Pepsi still rely on secret ingredients, so clearly patents haven't encouraged them to be known (heck, they are probably protected by trade secrets and even if they do leak chances are that anyone who copies them will still be sued for infringement and might even lose). Microsoft Windows is under copy'right' and it's still closed source.

    If they want to be secretive, they can keep their 'secret', as if they're the only ones smart enough to come up with the idea. The fact is that others will conduct R&D and they will likely independently come up with the same idea.

     

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

  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 8:50pm

    Re: Re: Backatyah

    (and probably already have, being that many patents cover prior art).

     

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

  85.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 11:30pm

    Re:

    While curing paralysis, blindness and Brimley's disease are arguably good causes, shouldnt the hard work that goes into those cures be rewarded?


    Who said anything about them not be rewarded?!?

    Whatever makes you think that patents are the only way to reward work?

     

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

  86.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 11:41pm

    Re: patents

    This is where your argument will be attacked. Others will argue that patents promote innovation, not hinder it, because it encourages disclosure of scientific breakthroughs. Otherwise, it'll be all governed by trade secrets, which also would hinder innovation.

    Attack away. The good news (for me) is that studies have been done on this, which have shown little to no increase in effective research from patent disclosures -- and that areas without patents tend to have an even greater freeflow of information.

    The idea that a lack of patents would lead to more trade secrets which hinder innovation has also been disproved by the actual research, which showed a few things. (1) True trade secrets are difficult to keep, as people can reverse engineer most stuff, or have already figured out the same thing on their own. (2) Smart companies often realize that trade secrets actually hurt *themselves* more than help, and they discover that they benefit more from sharing with others, in that greater info sharing (outside of patents) leads to greater innovation *across the market* which opens up a bigger pie for all players.

     

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

  87.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Jan 29th, 2011 @ 1:38am

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

    Every sperm is sacred,
    Every sperm is great,
    If a sperm is wasted,
    God gets quite irate.

     

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

  88.  
    icon
    Any Mouse (profile), Jan 29th, 2011 @ 3:43am

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

    I respect your opinion, even if I do not agree with it. I refuse to bring a moral argument up in a scientific debate.

     

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

  89.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2011 @ 4:17am

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

    Child vs. adult are artificial labels we assign, they are all humans.

    "Human" is an artificial label.

     

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

  90.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2011 @ 4:31am

    Re: Re: Backatyah

    Yes, but both the steam engine and light bulb patents did something rather magical:

    They encouraged people to look for other solutions.

    See, innovation isn't just "taking what is already there and using it", true innovation is finding a unique solution to something, working around restrictions.

    One of the best (and ignored) examples is the induction or "no electrode" lamp, patent held by Philip Diehl (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Diehl_(inventor) for a better idea). Although some may suggest he was blocked by Edison's patents, the reality is that he took up that challenge and found alternate solutions, good enough to challenge Edison's bulb.

    It is often the case. What you see as restrictions placed by the light bulb patent in fact drove others to look for alternate solutions, and significantly advanced the art in a short period of time. Rather than just a society of replication, we have had a society of advancement and improvenment.

     

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

  91.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2011 @ 6:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Research Exemption; Public Disclosure

    Yes, and those list for every single case that may have occured during the drug testing. If a single test subject reports a headache, it has to be listed. If one of them got the runs, then digestive problems need to be discussed, and so on. They are trying to cover their asses the best they can. It is an incredibly difficult field with lot of risks and rewards only for entirely successful drugs. Even then, as has been seen with many drugs that make it commercially, they still have long term legal risks from problems that develop.

    There has to be some reward, some system to make all the risk worth it.

     

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

  92.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2011 @ 6:58am

    Re: Re:

    So please, enlighten us: What other rewards do you have for companies who risk hundreds of millions of dollars each year to develop new drugs? What is their incentive to put the money on the table?

    Rather than just dismissing other people's opinions, why not put your own ideas on the table?

     

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

  93.  
    identicon
    staff, Jan 29th, 2011 @ 7:06am

    theft of

    "patents actually hinder the rate of innovation"

    It is not innovation that patents hinder, but the theft of. Without patents everyone protects their discoveries as trade secrets or otherwise refuses to disclose. Anyone know how to make a Stradivarius? That's what you get in a world without patents.

     

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

  94.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2011 @ 9:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Backatyah

    If these alternate solutions had economic value if patents on the originals didn't exist, then people will likely invent them regardless. They are merely a problem that the previous invention didn't solve and people will look for a solution and find these 'alternate' solutions. To the extent that these alternate solutions are being used merely to circumvent a patent, they are merely a less efficient solution to a problem that there is a more efficient solution for. The only reason these 'alternate' solutions deserve the effort of being developed is if they solve a problem that the previous solution doesn't (and a lack of diversity for stylistic/aesthetic purposes could also be a problem, but if that problem is deserving of the cost of a solution then people will find one without patents). It is economically inefficient for people to waste resources finding an alternate solution only (or even partly) because the best solution is patented.

    Often times (especially today) patents are so broad that they could cover these alternate solutions as well. Not to mention people often get several patents on any possible solution so as to prevent anyone from finding any solution and there are so many patents that someone is likely to have a patent on whatever alternate solution you come up with.

     

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

  95.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2011 @ 9:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Backatyah

    In other words, to make your point you need to provide reasonable evidence for the following two things

    A: This alternate solution is not merely a way to get around a patent (because that just makes it marginally useless, like solving a problem with a less efficient computer algorithm only for the sake of circumventing a patent) but it solves problems that people couldn't solve by creating something that would have been covered under the patent.

    B: That this 'alternate' solution would not have been created without the patent on the original.

     

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

  96.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Jan 29th, 2011 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Backatyah

    But were they tested in the market?

    Best example of free reign are the horse and buggy as well as the refrigerator market.

    Link

    , ...these refrigerators used either sulfur dioxide, which is corrosive to the eyes and may cause loss of vision, painful skin burns and lesions, or methyl formate, which is highly flammable, harmful to the eyes, and toxic if inhaled or ingested. Many of these units are still functional today. These cooling systems cannot legally be recharged with the hazardous original refrigerants if they leak or break down.

    The introduction of Freon in the 1920s expanded the refrigerator market during the 1930s and provided a safer, low-toxicity alternative to previously used refrigerants. ...


    This is where the market chose a victor because of superior technology. You are also forgetting that the patent system is truly borked.

    It's hard to invalidate bad patents and with the Supreme Court damn near saying "Oh, hey, anything is patentable" we have a problem with bad law running amok in that field.

    It's not innovative that Nathan Myrvold can become a mercernary in the patent field. It's not innovative that Toyota has lost in the hybrid market, having to pay the original patent holder even though he did NOTHING in the field for 10 years. Innovation comes in various ways but seriously, the patent system is killing it.

     

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

  97.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Jan 29th, 2011 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re: Backatyah

    "If a company chooses to get a patent it's because they know that a patent is the only way to protect the idea from being used by others because if they thought that keeping it a secret is good enough to keep it from others (or to keep others from independently coming up with the same idea) then they wouldn't have any incentive to reveal it to others through a patent.

    The bold is where the problem lies. We aren't trying to protect ideas. That's like saying Pizza Hut is the only way to make a pizza. Or Wal-mart is where everyone should shop for clothes. If you want an idea to be locked away in your head, feel free but let others express it as they see fit.

     

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

  98.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Jan 29th, 2011 @ 10:19pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Exactly.

     

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

  99.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Jan 29th, 2011 @ 10:22pm

    Re:

    Right, so while doing his research his does not get paid by the company he does the research for? Talk about twisted.

     

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

  100.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Jan 29th, 2011 @ 10:25pm

    Re:

    What moral dilemma? It's a bunch of cells.

     

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

  101.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2011 @ 8:03pm

    Apparently, 35 USC 271(e)(1) is not well know to the author of this article or the individual quoted in the linked article.

    Likewise, the unanimous decision in 2005 by the Supreme Court in Merck v. Integra is not well known.

    Finally, and contrary to the basic premise of this article and the linked article, there exist studies that belie the oft repeated position here that patents are materially preventing medical research. See, for example:

    http://www.scienceprogress.org/2009/10/do-gene-patents-hurt-research/

    This is a complex issue that does not admit to sound bites, but also an issue that has hardly been ignored by Congress because of its importance.

    Congress has attempted to strike a balance, as have the courts. Both common law and statutory law exist that contradict what is being said here. Hopefully, the author of this article will dig a bit deeper and realize that patents in these research fields are not the evil he appears to believe is the case.

     

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

  102.  
    identicon
    eko, Jan 9th, 2012 @ 10:25am

    According to the NIH website, quite a few groups are working on treating diabetes with stem cell research. Maybe this guy Lonza just has an agenda?

    Yeah, Americans will go to Europe for new drugs, especially considering there are quite a few drugs on the market here in the US that are not available in Europe.

     

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


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