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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Member since:

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

adkilla Member since:

I think you are oversimplifying what Dr.Salk meant. All the medicine in the world is synthesized from nature or from compounds that exists in our planet. They were never magically created out of nothing. Dr.Salk understood this concept. Sunlight has many benefits for all living things. But no one in their right mind would think we could have exclusive ownership of its properties through a patent because we discovered a use for them. Why should medicine be different? I agree that drug research requires funds but there must be alternative instruments in place to prioritize for the common good of society. Patents prioritize the profit motive which could lead to greed.

Salk and his associates earned a decent living and were not driven by greed. Their unselfish contributions saved millions of lives not only in developed nations but also those in poor nations. Illnesses do not differentiate between the poor and the rich. However, the cure is better accessible by the rich. We need to change the game to make it accessible to all regardless of their financial or social status. This can't be achieved by profit driven instruments such as patents.

Patents in medical research have done a lot of harm than good. Besides being used as profit instruments, it has also been used to stifle new discoveries and research:

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has granted thousands of patents on human genes – in fact, about 20 percent of our genes are patented. A gene patent holder has the right to prevent anyone from studying, testing or even looking at a gene. As a result, scientific research and genetic testing has been delayed, limited or even shut down due to concerns about gene patents.


Edited 2011-04-20 18:09 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3