06.17.09

Intellectual Monopoly Roundup: Comedy or Farce?

Posted in Patents at 11:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Musical note

Summary: News about patents — where does it end?

A unique person with a unique common sense in the EP

It’s not just about the profits of the pharmaceutical industry. The proposed alternative to pharmaceutical patents starts from the fact that the big pharmaceutical companies officially admit they only spend 15% of their revenues on research, to suggest that the governments could take 20% of what they currently spend on drugs (which is a lot of money!) and allocate it to pharmaceutical research, with the results free to anyone. However, the Pirate Party is the only political party to have asserted that all kind of patents have to be abolished, not only the pharmaceutical patents and the software patents!

Interview with Pirate Party Leader: ‘These are Crucial Freedoms’

In the same way, the Pirate Party opposes patents — especially in software, but also in other areas.

“All patents, at their base, are innovation inhibitors,” he maintains. “Patents delayed the industrial revolution by thirty years. They delayed the advent of the North American avionics industry by another thirty years, until the first world war broke out, and the US government confiscated the patents. It delayed radio for five years.” Today, he suggests, advances in electric cars and eco-friendly infrastructure are similarly blocked by patents.

The Fight of His Life

Call him Dr. No. Locked in a bitter dispute over how he can use the fruits of his research, Bob Shafer is asking the same question the courts are now grappling with: Just what can be patented, anyway?

Get Your Hands Out of my Genes!

Our genes might be practically open to discovery, there’s very little physically I can do to prevent you from acquiring my genes and unraveling my genetic code. But that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be disturbing or unethical if you did this. The knowledge you could get about me, and use against me, is just too potentially disruptive to decide that we are not somehow each custodians, and maybe even more properly guardians, of our individual genetic data.

At the same time, the genome we share cannot be cordoned off. To the degree that our genetic information is mostly the same, we should all have access to it. No one should be able to claim that if we want to peek around, learn some more, and do some studies on this common genetic code, we somehow have to pay for this. Our “common genetic heritage” is, I argue, an actual commons like the sky, sunlight, or international waters. We should treat it as such.

US Green Patents vs. Global Climate Commons

Guess which wins?

Last night the House voted overwhelmingly to establish new U.S. policy that will oppose any global climate change treaty that weakens the IP rights of American “green technology.”

Staggering. Sickening. Suicidal. (Via Against Monopoly.)

Intellectual “Property” Versus Real Property

Intellectual “property” (IP) is a sleeper issue. It seems uncontroversial: Someone invents or writes something and therefore owns it. What could be plainer? But IP contains the power to destroy liberty.

IP isn’t merely about rock bands preventing kids from sharing MP3s over the Internet. (See “Weird Al” Yankovic’s musical commentary, “Don’t Download This Song,” here.) It’s about crusty incumbent firms trying to preserve market share by stifling competition, domestically and in the developing world.

It’s Not About Being First… It’s About Market Adoption

We’ve discussed the difference between “invention” (doing something new) and “innovation” (finding a new successful market) before, and it’s resulted in some long and occasionally contentious discussions. Fred Wilson put up a post recently where he looked at a series of product “success” stories, and tried to figure out what was the key to success. In each one, he noted that the product enabled people to do stuff in a different way — but one of the key findings, was that they all had something else in common: being drop dead simple, leading to much greater adoption

Judge tosses Nintendo Wii patent suit

Since the launch of the Wii, Nintendo has been the subject of no fewer than 15 patent-related lawsuits. While many of those suits are still winding their way through the courts, Nintendo on Thursday issued a statement touting victory over Guardian Media Technologies in one of the more recent patent suits.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2009/06/17/intellectual-monopoly-roundup/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

3 Comments

  1. Jose_X said,

    June 17, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Gravatar

    >> Since the launch of the Wii, Nintendo has been the subject of no fewer than 15 patent-related lawsuits.

    Patents can be very anticompetitive (through the use of proxies) if they get into the wrong hands. The lottery winner prefers a symbiotic relationship where the target company lives to prosper and they get a cut all the way. But, for a quick sure payoff, they may instead sell out to a proxy working on behalf of larger competitor(s), who then might try for an injunction or for very high royalties (or for some other high price.. or to bribe management to sell out…) since the entity(-ies) behind the proxy benefits more in various ways that reduce competition and can very unfairly punish the target (and consumers).

    All of this is enabled by patent laws that give too much market distorting power to too few.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Is there any proven incident where Microsoft funded or encouraged a company to harass another using patents (not just so-called ‘IP’ like the SCO case)?

  2. twitter said,

    June 17, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Gravatar

    The propaganda term “Intellectual Property” should be avoided and explained properly when quoted. Trade Mark, Patents and Copyright are all distinct, government created rights which serve very different purposes. The only thing they have in common are that they are government granted monopolies. The term, “IP” invites confusion of concepts and a degeneration of law. When you confuse the motives of Copyright Law with those of Patent Law, for example, you end up with abominations like business method patents. “IP” is a lie that should always be denied. When you talk about each form of government monopoly in clear terms, the truth becomes obvious.

What Else is New


  1. Links 8/3/2021: Java 16 is Coming and More Software Patents Thrown Out

    Links for the day



  2. Examining Today's EPO Propaganda About the Disastrous EQE, a Subject of Much Scorn and EPO Corruption (Updated)

    The EPO’s e-EQE was a complete and utter disaster; but in an act of overt revisionism (i.e. the usual from this administration) the EPO pretends everything went well, bar a minor glitch lasing a few minutes



  3. The World Wide Web Has Become Proprietary and the Last Remaining 'Major' Browser That Was (Pre-EME) Free Software Is Rapidly Becoming Useless and User-Hostile (It's Monopoly- and Surveillance-Sponsored)

    The World Wide Web seems like a lost cause because Web browsers, which nowadays determine what the de facto standards are (same problem as 20 years ago), are monopolistic when it comes fundamentals like rendering engines (and privacy isn't even an option, users aren't the priority but the product etc.)



  4. Links 8/3/2021: Waffle 1.7.0 and a Look at the New Pardus (19.5)

    Links for the day



  5. Real Feminism is Grassroots, Not a Corporate Ploy (to Improve Image and Sales)

    The insulting publicity stunt many will be exposed to throughout the day is largely a corporate-led Public Relations charade, painting sexist companies as defenders of women



  6. Gemini Capsules and Pages Now Accessible in a Web Browser, Qutebrowser, But Qutebrowser Has Issues

    As noted earlier this morning, it's nowadays possible to access Gemini capsules through a Web browser without any Web proxies; but the (likely) first browser with that capability has numerous big issues



  7. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, March 07, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, March 07, 2021



  8. Moving Away From the World Wide Web is a Wise Move, at Least to the Degree Which is Possible

    More Web browsers finally support the Gemini protocol and decentralisation is gaining traction (it's even in mainstream European media right about now)



  9. The Banality of Bribery

    To understand why institutions defend and sometimes even give awards for the very things they claim to be against one must examine the flow of money (with strings attached to it)



  10. When I Discovered People Trafficking in Free/Open Source Software

    Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock



  11. Links 7/3/2021: AviDemux 2.7.8, Thunar 4.16.4

    Links for the day



  12. Links 7/3/2021: Sparky 2021.03, SystemRescue 8.00, and FreeBSD 13.0 RC1

    Links for the day



  13. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, March 06, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, March 06, 2021



  14. How To Deal With Your Raspberry Spy -- Part V: All The Rest

    The final part of a series on liberating the Raspberry Spy from an untrustworthy OS that secretly adds Microsoft keys and proprietary software repositories of Microsoft



  15. How To Deal With Your Raspberry Spy -- Part IV: Doing The Task

    We now spell out the steps taken to actually replace the Raspberry Pi OS with something more trustworthy



  16. Corporations Do Not Represent Communities and Activists, They Just Exploit Them, Discredit Them, and Hijack Their Hard Work

    The AstroTurfing and the Googlebombing campaigns of large corporations would have us believe that genuine activists are toxic and malicious people, whereas corporations exist to save the world from evil people; don’t fall for those Public Relations tactics (a gross inversion of narrative)



  17. Why the 'Raspberry Spy' Blunder is a Lot More Serious and Profound Than the Corporate Media is Willing to Acknowledge

    As this video points out, the ongoing series by Gavin L. Rebeiro is justified by the fact that the 'Raspberry Spy' Foundation continues to work with and some might say for Microsoft; it sold out millions of customers



  18. Links 6/3/2021: “SLS” Mitigation and Exiv2/KDE Project

    Links for the day



  19. How To Deal With Your Raspberry Spy -- Part III: Fundamentals

    Following the introductory and preliminary parts we dive deeper into the steps taken to replace the Raspberry Pi's GNU- and Linux-based OS with something like NetBSD



  20. Links 6/3/2021: Linux 5.12 RC2 and OpenSUSE Tumbleweed Woes

    Links for the day



  21. IRC Proceedings: Friday, March 05, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, March 05, 2021



  22. Links 5/3/2021: Qubes OS 4.0.4 Release and Wine's Project Leader is Open to Wayland

    Links for the day



  23. How To Deal With Your Raspberry Spy -- Part II: Introduction

    Following Part I, published a few hours ago, let's examine what happened from a technical perspective and what can be done about it technically



  24. How To Deal With Your Raspberry Spy -- Part I: Acknowledgements

    March 2, 2021 blog post series from a guest author; for some background, see blog posts from Microsoft in the official blog of Raspberry Pi and our response to these



  25. German Decision on Unitary Patent/UPC Will Take Years (and It Doesn't Matter Because the Whole Thing is Dead Already)

    Kluwer Patent Blog's Dr. Bausch explains why the UPC is pretty much doomed, as it cannot be ratified any time soon and probably will never be ratified either (for a multitude of reasons, including Brexit)



  26. Techrights in Australia (IPFS and Gemini)

    Allies in Australia will help Techrights serve material from another server; we're still bettering ourselves for an era of oppressive World Wide Web



  27. Professional Troll Matthew Garrett Spreads Libel, Defamation and Slander About the Free Software Community to Entertain Microsoft and Friends

    After months of parking in our IRC channels to provoke and troll people (and try to collect 'dirt' from responses) the professional troll Matthew Garrett has been for many years shows his true colours again



  28. Links 5/3/2021: Linux 5.12-rc2 Imminent, Linux Lite 5.4 RC1 in Review

    Links for the day



  29. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, March 04, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, March 04, 2021



  30. Links 4/3/2021: LibreOffice 7.1.1, Cockpit 239, Many Stable Kernel Releases

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts