Bonum Certa Men Certa

The Ugly Politics of Patent Laws

It often takes a real example from the news to demonstrate just how manipulative -- if not corrupt -- the process of making patent laws can be. We mentioned one such example a few days ago (Microsoft uses the United States government for software patents in Europe), but here comes an attempt to change the law in Thailand. [via Digistan]

Shortly after a new government was installed in Bangkok earlier this year, European Union trade commissioner Peter Mandelson urged it to review a series of compulsory licenses issued by the previous administration that overruled patents on several medicines.

[...]

Agnoletto alleged that there is a contradiction between statements that Mandelson has made to the Parliament and those contained in his letter. “He is using two different languages,” Agnoletto added. “I have the impression he is working more for the pharmaceutical industry than for the Commission.”


For background you can take a glance this older post about pharmaceutical patents and Thailand's tough stance on this matter. The expansionists simply cannot accept other people's views. They try to force theirs upon others, using money and power that assume and exploit weak-minded politicians. This is totally unacceptable. And while Microsoft lobbyists like Zuck (ACT) are running out and about in Europe they see limited success in contaminating the European patent system too. [via Digital Majority]

The European Union (EU) plans to delegate its power to grant Community Patents to a non-Community institution, the European Patent Office (EPO). The EPO is not bound by any EU regulation, and is often described by academics as a 'state in the state'. Members of the European Parliament have also criticized the EPO for its lack of political accountability. The EPO grants software patents for the European Patent, and will probably grant such patents for the Community Patent.


Sanity cannot prevail in the face of greed, apparently.

"Only those inventions “worth to the public the embarrassment of an exclusive patent” should receive patent protection, declared Thomas Jefferson, himself an inventor and America's first commissioner of patents. Since his day some patents have proved to be more of an embarrassment than others. Most notorious are “business methods” patents, such as the patent held by Priceline, an online ticket agency, for the Dutch-auction method of selling tickets. Thousands of these patents have been issued since they were first recognised in 1998."

--Methods and madness, The Economist

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