The proponents favorite argument seem to be that clinical trials are super costly thus big pharma *need* monopoly rents to afford them.
Instead of patents I suggest sharing the clinical trial costs as follows:
Company A develops and brings drug X to market. Let's imagine the bill for clinical tests was $900 million (including interest paid to financiers).
Company B and C notices that drug X looks like a winner and want to manufacture it. To get permission from the FDA to sell their versions they have to pay $300 million each to A, splitting the bill evenly between the three companies. In addition they would have to pay for testing and certification that their factories can produce the drug with equal quality and effect as A.
While B&C ponders if manufacturing drug X is worth that $300 million fee, company A can use their first mover advantage to recoup the R&D spending they had beyond the clinical trials.
You always put a lot of emphasis on allowing independent invention as the most important part of fixing the patent system.
Can you elaborate how this defense is supposed work, because I don't see it unless it is also combined with other reforms like shortening patent terms, capping damage awards and abolishing the CAFC.
When your fresh new product gets hit by a patent troll with it's coffers full of 10-15 year old patents they will most certainly argue that back in 1998 this was cutting edge research, it's because of us and our hard work the state of the art progressed, after all a patent is about publishing and educating the world about the concepts embodied within it.
In short, it's thanks to the troll that you were able to come up with that fine product "on your own" last year. Being all hot for patents the CAFC will lick it all up and award billions of dollars in damages.
Even if you prevail over the troll, with all the publicity of a court case, no one else can claim ignorance of the invention after that so the independent defense will only let one inventor across the bridge. The troll will have a guaranteed lock-in against the rest of the industry wanting to use the tech for a nice 5-10 years depending on the timing of the lawsuit.
I think shortened patent terms is a much more important reform, that will make all the junk patents moot quicker, and it can give independent invention some actual teeth since with a shorter time window it'll be much easier to show that you where truly independent and not reliant on technological progress (directly or indirectly) initiated by the troll.
I've never understood the race to data-mine insurance customers to the bone.
Insurance is supposed to share risk as a collective, but if my rate is exactly tailored to my individual risk, then what purpose does the insurance company serve me? Seems I could just put that money into my own savings account and use it when shit happens.
In addition to the awesome pic it has some great quotes too (when properly taken out of context):
1. A method for breathing fresh air in a room ... comprising the steps of
inserting a breathing tube through a water trap of a toilet to expose an open end thereof to fresh air from a vent pipe connected to a sewer line of said toilet, and breathing said fresh air through said breathing tube.
The biggest thing that pisses me off about this entire situation is that not a single god damned news agency is out there actually reviewing all of these documents and trying to expose the government's illegal activities that have been carried out.
Well, I don't know what the news mega corps in the US are reporting on the actual content of the cables but on this side of the pond journalists have started to dip their toes into the water.
For example this documentary (in Swedish, complete with inane answers from politicians), regarding Swedish foreign policy. Officially we're neutral but our current government (and all before it) is all to happy to be USA's lapdog. This is no surprise of course, it's the worst kept secret ever, but the diplomatic cables give an interesting insight in USA's view on the matter and just how high we jump when master calls.
I can also recommend another program by the same team: WikiRebels - The Documentary (in English this time). Which, coming from mainstream media, I still found surprisingly insightful.