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The purpose of patents | 217 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
The purpose of patents
Authored by: Wol on Wednesday, November 28 2012 @ 12:24 PM EST
is to persuade people to publish trade secrets.

I mentioned the "baby forceps" patents some while back - one of the
very first patents, which did succeed in getting trade secrets made public, and
thereby saved very many lives.

At least one poster here has mentioned a trade secret he knows about, which
gives his company clear competitive leverage. This is the sort of thing that we
would like them to patent, so other people can use it (but this company
obviously won't because in twenty years it hasn't been re-invented anywhere
else, so they think they're better off with a trade secret).

There is no reason at all why "sole proprietors" shouldn't have trade
secrets, and as such they truly are lone inventors.

Actually, this might give us another good criteria for determining "what is
a good patent"! The patent office should ask the question "What would
this be worth if it was a trade secret?"

If the answer is "nothing" then it shouldn't be patented/patentable.
After all, patents are supposedly on "how to make" and the like - drug
companies shouldn't be able to patent the drug, but they should be able to
patent the manufacturing process ...

Cheers,
Wol

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

"It would have been a very bad thing if those basic and enormously powerful tools had ever been
Authored by: bprice on Wednesday, November 28 2012 @ 02:50 PM EST
I believe it's already been established that drug companies don't manufacture the simple stuff that works after it[]s monopoly on it has expired,
You might believe so, but your belief is incorrect.

I take few meds, but they are all generic, and many are OTC ("over the counter"). "Generic" means that the patents, if any, have expired, but a doctor's prescription may still be required. OTC means that a prescription is not required.

Example: I take Levothryroxine to compensate for one-half of my thyroid being missing. It's generic. It's made by multiple drug companies. It's simple stuff. It works.

I take ibuprofen to calm down my restless legs, so I can sleep. It's both generic and OTC. A prescription was required, years ago, for Motrin, the name it was sold under while it was covered by patent protection. It's made by multiple drug companies. It's simple stuff. It works.

I would suggest an exploration of the material at cder.fda.gov. I found a whole database full of patented, protected, generic and OTC drugs and their manufacturers, along with explanations of patented, protected, and generic status for pharmaceuticals. Some of the info pertains only to the US, of course, but much is valid in other jurisdictions.

---
--Bill. NAL: question the answers, especially mine.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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