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Apparently the benefits of patents for Pharma have been overstated | 397 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Apparently the benefits of patents for Pharma have been overstated
Authored by: PJ on Saturday, November 17 2012 @ 11:42 AM EST
No. Patents actually make some sense in the
pharma world. They actually do spend a lot on
research and testing and development, and
they won't do it, unless they have some hope
of getting that investment back. That's one
reason there is a shortage of certain types
of medications. They go for the ones that
are expensive.

In fact, it's classically what patents are
for. If you spend a million on research and
come up with a cure for baldness or whatever,
but then there is no protection for you, here's
what happens. Companies that didn't spend a
million on research see your work, copy it
immediately and they get your profits before
you get your million back, let alone a profit.

How many times will you do that? I'd say
never again. So the patent gives you a time
during which you get to recoup your expenses
and make something on your work.

The difference with software is you can do
it at home in your bedroom without any million
having to be spent. People do it for fun. Look
at Linux. So you don't need protection for
your investment, because it's negligible.

In fact, in one panel yesterday at the conference,
John Duffy, I think it was, said that we need
patents for some software, like for the disabled,
or MP3, because no one can do that at home in
their bedroom. A developer stood up and said,"I
can tell you that people will develop that kind
of software for the disabled in their bedroom, because
I have done it." And he mentioned the specialty
software he had produced.

Duffy then said, "Then any such patents should
be revoked."

I learned from that. One thing we have to stress is
that people don't need huge investments in research
and development to produce software. It's not
suitable for patent protection, therefore.

The other thing is something that Dan Ravicher said.
He said that the purpose, in the minds of legislators,
for patent law is jobs. If we don't speak about
jobs, we fail in every argument. So, later, a
venture capitalist told a story about one company
his group had invested in. They created some
fabulous software service and then got sued by
some guys who had a patent that wasn't really the
same functionality but claimed it was. Pure troll.
So they settled, rather than fight, because they
had no money to fight with. Immediately after the
settlement, which cost them about a million,
they were sued again. This time, even though it
was equally stupid a claim, the company dissolved,
because they couldn't stay in business that way.
So 70 jobs were lost.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Apparently the benefits of patents for Pharma have been overstated
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 17 2012 @ 12:15 PM EST
I don't consider the New York Times a particularly reliable source.

That said go back and re-read the article. Patents have nothing to do with the
shortages mentioned. Two of the medications specifically mentioned in the
article: nitroglycerin and lidocaine injection are already off patent.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Apparently the benefits of patents for Pharma have been overstated
Authored by: dio gratia on Saturday, November 17 2012 @ 11:38 PM EST

That Was Fast: Hollywood Already Browbeat The Republicans Into Retracting Report On Copyright Reform.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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