Latest Study Highlights How Damaging Intellectual Property Has Been To Biotech

from the more-evidence dept

TorrentFreak alerts us to the latest in a long line of research that highlights just how damaging the intellectual property system has been to innovation. This isn’t new, of course. We’ve been pointing to tons of research on this subject for years, but it’s great to see some more to add to the pile. And this isn’t just a couple of folks with an opinion either — but a seven year study, involving a large interdisciplinary team of folks examining all aspects of intellectual property, with the main focus being on the biotech industry. The report hits on a few key themes we’ve highlighted over the years:

The current era of intellectual property is waning. It has been based on two faulty assumptions made nearly three decades ago: that since some intellectual property (IP) is good, more must be better; and that IP is about controlling knowledge rather than sharing it. These assumptions are as inaccurate in biotechnology ? the field of science covered by this report ? as they are in other fields from music to software.

The full report is a good read. It’s well researched and documented, and points out that listening to IP lawyers alone, or just looking at IP laws is a huge mistake in analyzing the overall impact of IP:

An analysis of IP laws alone gives a distorted understanding of how IP facilitates innovation and dissemination. Such an analysis must be complemented by an understanding of business and governmental practice as well as the public and private institutions and entities that create, grant and govern IP.

There’s plenty more in the report, and it’s all footnoted, and some of the additional research is new to me and will be fun to explore over the next few weeks.

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

Filed Under: , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Latest Study Highlights How Damaging Intellectual Property Has Been To Biotech”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...