Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Apr 2011 21:29 UTC
Legal Well. Raise your hands if you didn't see this one coming. Nobody is safe from Apple's and Microsoft's legal crusade against Android, not even Samsung, which supplies a lot of chips to Apple. Apple has sued Samsung for copying Cupertino's look and feel in various Samsung devices. This is about as surprising as the tides rolling in. Update: And Samsung's going to strike back. Hit 'm hard, Samsung. I don't like you anymore than any of these other patent trolls, but maybe we'll finally see it all crash and burn.
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Kondor337
Member since:
2006-09-16

While it's true that the current patent system is completely broken and is often abused, and the same is true for copyright, this doesn't mean that all patents and every copyright are useless or even harmful.

We should not throw the baby out with the bath water.

When a pharmaceutical company has invested millions of dollars in testing many different combinations of agents, and finally they find a combination that can cure some illness, we cannot immediately allow everyone to just analyze their product and sell a copy. That wouldn't be fair at all and would mean that in the future, only foundations and maybe universities could create new drugs.

So there's clearly a need for *some* kind of patent system, even if it should be very different from the one we have now.

Reply Score: 1

adkilla Member since:
2005-07-07

Health care should be universally accessible to everyone and this should never be upstaged by profits. Why should anyone suffer from illnesses because they are poor?

"Edward R. Murrow: Who owns the patent on this vaccine?
Jonas Salk: Well, the people, I would say. There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?"
- CBS Television interview, on See It Now (12 April 1955)

Reply Parent Score: 8

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Health care should be universally accessible to everyone and this should never be upstaged by profits. Why should anyone suffer from illnesses because they are poor?


Would mod you up if I could: this one I agree with 100%.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Kondor337 Member since:
2006-09-16

Health care should be universally accessible to everyone and this should never be upstaged by profits. Why should anyone suffer from illnesses because they are poor?

"Edward R. Murrow: Who owns the patent on this vaccine?
Jonas Salk: Well, the people, I would say. There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?"
- CBS Television interview, on See It Now (12 April 1955)


(The sun is a really, really bad example, because noone invested a lot of money to develop it.)

Please do not confuse "universally accessible to everyone" with "no compensation for the company that developed it". Of course everyone who needs it should be able to get the medicine. Of course it's a horrible thing if patents are used to prevent poor people from being able to buy the drugs.

That doesn't mean AT ALL that even rich people in rich countries should not pay for the development of the drugs, because 1.) it would not be fair, and 2.) we wouldn't have nearly as much private research, which would NOT be a good thing for either rich or poor people.

Maybe we can find a replacement for patents where the company that created something and paid for the development is reimbursed in another way (tax money?). But we cannot simply abolish patents without any kind of replacement.

Reply Parent Score: 1

ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

There was never any real need for patent or copyright systems. They were invented after the fact, purely for protecting the interest of large manufacturers or publishers at the time.

Patents or copyright do only one thing - they suppress the competition. And lack of competition is never good for consumers, period. Saying that companies wouldn't have incentives for innovation? They had better innovate like crazy unless they wanted to go bust.

The point is, the world without patents or copyright would develop just fine, probably better than now. Just look at the fashion industry, where there is still very little regulation (although French and Italians are trying to change it) - you can't say it suffers from the lack of innovation or that it is not profitable, can you?

Reply Parent Score: 2

ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

And about hardware/software patent thing.

In my opinion all patents are bad. Just some are worse than others.

Hardware patents don't suck as much as software ones, because:

a) Many of them already expired (in public domain), and the development rate is slower (it's a real world dealing with real stuff, not just information). This is just a matter of the scale of the problem.

b) You're not at the risk unless you produce hardware in volume, which excludes hobbyists and small companies. Contrast that with software, which can be written by anyone and distributed in any numbers.

Reply Parent Score: 3

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

While it's true that the current patent system is completely broken and is often abused, and the same is true for copyright, this doesn't mean that all patents and every copyright are useless or even harmful.

We should not throw the baby out with the bath water.

When a pharmaceutical company has invested millions of dollars in testing many different combinations of agents, and finally they find a combination that can cure some illness, we cannot immediately allow everyone to just analyze their product and sell a copy. That wouldn't be fair at all and would mean that in the future, only foundations and maybe universities could create new drugs.

So there's clearly a need for *some* kind of patent system, even if it should be very different from the one we have now.


Look up 'patent evergreening':

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evergreening

Pharmaceutical are not only protected as to make a profit but they too are abusing the system as well. Lets remember that the majority of the heavy lifting isn't done by pharmaceutical companies but by university and crown research entities funded by tax payers money. These entities do all the background work that pharmaceutical companies need to then understand how their chemicals react with each other and the body. Then there is the education of said employees where 75% of the cost is once again covered by the tax payer - without said subsidised education there would be fewer people being able to go to university and obtain a degree in the relevant particular areas.

Edited 2011-04-20 22:27 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3