Latest Study Highlights How Damaging Intellectual Property Has Been To Biotech
from the more-evidence dept
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.