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 10/5/2021: Huawei's GNU/Linux Laptops and Kotlin 1.5.0

    Links for the day



  2. Richard Stallman on Writing rm, ls, and cp (Also Working on Bison)

    Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation's founder, explains what programs he developed in the eighties



  3. Raise the Roof

    Out comes the taxpayers’ subsidy, assured; with military the sky is the limit (and bailout guaranteed)



  4. Richard Stallman Replatformed 10 Hours From Now

    Link to the talk (when it goes live)



  5. [Meme] Bill Says, Bill Saves

    Bill Gates seems more likely to be indicted than to win a presidential election/term



  6. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 09, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, May 09, 2021



  7. According to the Wall Street Journal, Bill Gates’s Relationship with Jeffrey Epstein Caused the Bill-Melinda Divorce (While the Media Deflected to Dr. Stallman, Using a Phony 'Scandal')

    It’s becoming rather obvious that there’s real substance to accusations that Mr. Gates was in some sense enabling Jeffrey Epstein; while Gates-funded media told us that he was saving us from climate change and a pandemic (PR stunts for empathy and sympathy) Melinda worked really hard to distance herself from him, the father of her kids



  8. [Meme] Bill, What's Your Opinion?

    While it's ludicrous to insinuate that Mr. Gates somehow "started" COVID-19 he certainly "rode the wave" for reputation laundering purposes, profit, and distraction from scandals that precede the epidemic in China (and caused his marriage to break down)



  9. Links 10/5/2021: SystemRescueCD 8.03, KeePass 2.48 Released

    Links for the day



  10. How We Process and Upload Videos Hosted in Techrights

    With ffmpeg as the Swiss army knife (and various other utilities/programs ‘in between’) it’s possible to automate much of the pipeline associated with video production and self-hosting



  11. Richard Stallman's Free Software Speech in 2020 (FSF Turning 35)

    We've re-encoded (as WebM) the likely sole/only speech Richard Stallman gave about his movement last year; today seems like a suitable time to republish it because tomorrow a British university/group will replatform him (to use their term)



  12. The Chaos Theory

    Making GNU/Linux less stable and less predictable isn't good for GNU/Linux users; but it certainly helps sell Red Hat support contracts and vexation inside the community weakens Red Hat's competitors



  13. Gemini and Techrights: Still Growing in Gemini Space and Always Supporting/Loving the Protocol

    As we continue to expand in Gemini space (where our very large site became a very large and likely the largest capsule) it's worth explaining some of the overlooked merits of the protocol; unlike the World Wide Web (WWW) it does not impose things on the user/visitor, who is more or less in charge



  14. Links 9/5/2021: KDE Frameworks 5.82.0 Release and Patents Related to COVID Subjected to Waivers

    Links for the day



  15. Act More 'Professional' to Appease Mobs

    We should all think alike, dress alike, and like everybody (especially the business overlords)



  16. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 08, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, May 08, 2021



  17. Some Background on the Free Speech Society at the University of Buckingham, Where Richard Stallman is Being 'Replatformed'

    A private British university, the University of Buckingham, will 'host' (virtually) the most-defamed person in the Free software world; the Free Speech Society is only two years old and rationality for its existence is explained by its co-founder James Oliver



  18. Web Sites or News Sites Perish When Their Arguments Are Weak and/or Invalid

    "Just be honest!" is a simple motto for any site; but some sites sell out in pursuit of money or grandiosity, unlike us (we turned 14.5 years old on Friday)



  19. GNU/Linux Turns 38 (in 4 Months From Now)

    Contrary to what the Linux Foundation wants you to think, the operating system turns 38 later this year



  20. Richard Stallman: Steve Jobs Did Some Very Bad Things

    Dr. Richard Stallman told me about Steve Jobs that he had helped digitally imprison computer users



  21. GNU/Linux Founder Richard Stallman to Give a Talk at the University of Buckingham Tomorrow (Live Stream)

    Tomorrow it will be possible to watch this new talk live using Free software



  22. Then We Take Berlin...

    Homage to EPO, based in Munich and Berlin (and defended by the government in Berlin)



  23. The Right to Assemble, Fundamental Rights of Ownership, and Many Other Rights Are Under Attack

    Techrights will be dealing a lot more with erosion of what people have come to assume were “rights” (real rights, such as human rights, labour rights, not copy “rights” or patent “rights”); when rights are reduced to rubble the long-term consequences are severe, shows history



  24. TechBytes Episode 91: End of Privacy and End of Windows 10X

    Tim and Roy produce their 2nd audiocast since TechBytes returned



  25. The Cancel Song

    People who work for (or receive funding from) Nazi-associated IBM are still trying to turn the work/legacy of Richard Stallman (RMS) into dust/ashes



  26. Pro-Software Freedom Advocates and Free/Libre Software Supporters Face Barriers Due to Domination of Communication Channels (Beyond the Media)

    A carefully-checked assessment of an overlooked aspect surrounding the 'cancel mob', which incites and brainwashes people based on lies; there's an attempt to control channels of communication (e.g. Open and Free Technology Community and Freenode) and to generally suppress people who support the founder of GNU/Linux



  27. Bashing Free Software and GNU/Linux is a Terrible Business Model for Publishers

    Contrary to unflattering portrayals by hostile media that's sponsored by foes of Free software, the usage of Free software grows, even if things such as DRM and surveillance stand in the way of software freedom (which was wrongly assumed to be ushered in by Free software, irrespective of malicious features like 'telemetry')



  28. Links 8/5/2021: GIMP 2.99.6, Wine 6.8 Released

    Links for the day



  29. IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 07, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, May 07, 2021



  30. [Meme] Outsourcing Audacity Development to Microsoft Proprietary Software and Then Copying Microsoft Tactics (and 'Telemetry')

    They've had the audacity to call it "telemetry" and pretend that surveillance companies (spying giants) cannot figure out who you are based on IP addresses


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