06.04.10

Patents Roundup: CSIRO Compared to a “Patent Troll”, The Hindu on Gene Patents, and Solicitor Greed

Posted in Australia, Patents at 1:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vintage brass microscope

Summary: Assorted patent news illustrating patent unrest

CSIRO is a patent aggressor [1, 2, 3], which is truly a shame because it reflects badly on the government of Australia and Renai LeMay makes unflattering accusations: [via]

There’s a good case to be made that Australia’s peak science body is turning into a patent troll.

The Hindu writes about gene patents

Bold words, coming from a rebel scientist — one who created a storm over a decade ago by first trying to patent a human gene (not allowed to do so by law), and then decoding the entire human genome, in competition with the publicly funded organizations doing the same. Now, he and his group have gone ahead and done what New Scientist had “assumed”.

[...]

There is the other issue of patents and ownership. Venter’s group has applied for several patents covering the work.

While one group, commenting on this, worries whether it could result in a monopoly on “synthetic life”, another sounds a reassuring note: “It is unlikely that Synthetic Genomics (Venter’s company) will become the Microsoft of synthetic biology”.

Watch how legal sites/press treat the issue of patents:

Looking ahead, European law firms will be keen to get their teeth into the new European market when it finally emerges. Law firms will have to be careful how they alter their strategy on the Continent to position themselves in what promises to be a lucrative market.

When they are calling it a “lucrative market” they are referring to litigation and granting of monopolies, which is disgusting because it implies disregard for science.

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2 Comments

  1. NotZed said,

    June 4, 2010 at 3:21 am

    Gravatar

    The CSIRO thing goes back a while. Australian govt funding for science got changed so it would preferentially target money-making endeavours. Given this is taxpayer money, getting a return on investment is really for the benefit everyone in the country too. How the so-called `capitalists’ must hate that, that some meagre profits aren’t going only to them or their mates. I’m surprised APC didn’t call it ‘socialist’ which seems to have become a dirty word here now for some unknown reason (saturation of us media no doubt).

    You do realise that in the wifi patent case though there was some pretty underhanded dealings by the companies involved (see the longer comment by ulicar). The article in question makes it sound like it was just a few mathematical formulas from 30 years ago, but this is not the case at all.

    Also calling a purely research organisation a troll is more than a little disingenuous on apc’s part. They spend all their takings on pure research (and in many areas, from households to industry to agriculture), and any money they earn reduces the burden of that research to taxpayers or lets them expand. Not that $250M actually pays for a lot of science anyway, and it’s really chicken feed compared to the size of the world pc market.

    I for one am pleased the CSIRO can get one back at these companies, which have been doing the same to everyone for decades.

  2. Dr. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 4, 2010 at 3:45 am

    Gravatar

    The CSIRO thing goes back a while. Australian govt funding for science got changed so it would preferentially target money-making endeavours.

    Academia has become somewhat similar. “IP” arms are being created by universities which give VC in return for profit and patents. For institutions paid by tax and tuition fees, this is an odd turn of events (the patents are privatised while published research papers are not shared with the commons and those who pay for it). Sometimes all of this “IP” is being sold to patent trolls like Intellectual Vultures. Yes, that troll is targeting universities now.

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