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View Diary: Another sign of what is wrong in public education (45 comments)

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  •  There is an excellent article on HuffPo (17+ / 0-)

    this morning about the declining benefits of patents on creativity due to Balkanization of the process.  Huge lawsuits over things like rounded corners on devices and double-taps on screens stifle creativity rather than enhance it.  This is protectionism at its worst.  Story link below:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

    If a school were to try and claim ownership of the creative work of one of my kids, you can bet I would not acquiesce quietly.  I can accept, for example, the university having an interest in the work my older son did on paper destroying fungus, because he used their lab and electron microscope.  But his creative writing at home?  No way, no matter whether it was a class assignment or not.

    The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

    by Otteray Scribe on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 04:39:22 AM PST

    •  I read that article; it's not worth much. (5+ / 0-)

      God save us from two economists who think the know how to "fix" the patenting system as applied to an industry (pharma) they clearly do not understand.  I note they state in the article that other approaches to protecting innovation could be viable, but those approaches aren't described, meaning they're not worth much.

      With respect to copyrights on grade/high school students' works, that is just attempted theft by schools considering it, nothing less.

      The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

      by TheOrchid on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:40:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Having filed three patent applications myself (0+ / 0-)

        and having received two notices of allowance, I think I have a right to say they are on to something.

        Patents are merely a nuisance except for drugs since the required written claims implicitly provide a basis for avoidance.

        What generally makes a drug patent valuable is the requirement for expensive multi-year FDA approval plus the government requirements that insurers pay for the drugs prescribed by doctors, who may be investors in the drug company, at the price asked.

        This has been topped off by a recent law that requires insurers accept as customers the people who need expensive drugs and that even healthy people buy insurance or pay a fine of $695/year/person.

        I personally think that the broad-scope Kirchoff chemical patents that generally cover drugs should have to be collapsed to the FDA approved molecule.

        India and pre-war Germany traditionally only allowed patents to cover the manufactiure of the drug molecule and not the drug molecule itself.

        Britain tradionally paid for drugs on an investment return basis much like utilities have been regulated in the US, but at a higher return rate since drug discovery was once a very risky business.

        The main risk now is lawsuits based on nasty side effects discovered after FDA approval or ignored for short-term massive profits.

        •  I'm a patent attorney. (0+ / 0-)

          So I think I have a right to say they're off base.  First, let me congratulate you for your Notices of Allowance; they're not easy to come by these days.

          However, I disagree with much of the rest of what you say.  Far from being a nuisance, they are practically the first thing any tech (bio or otherwise) thinks of when starting up, and in the bio space, they are practically the only assets for many startups.  They are the promise of value that brings in investors who can actually fund getting something to market.

          Drug discovery still IS a very risky venture.  Only about 15% of small molecules that start Phase I clinical trials actually make it past Phase II to approval nd marketing.  And that ignores a significant amount of time, effort, and expense involved in just identifying potential lead candidates, out of hundreds of thousands of potential candidates, that make it to Phase I in the first place.  Collapsing patents to the FDA-approved molecule?  That ignores--and devalues--all of the work devoted to developing the class of molecules out of which that FDA-approved one was plucked.  If my company spent a ton of $$ developing a molecule, why shouldn't it own rights to that molecule?  There isn't any.

          And the statement that patents are a nuisance because "the required written claims implicitly provide a basis for avoidance" is a non-sequitur.  It's as if you were arguing that a fence around someone else's property is a nuisance because it implicitly provides a basis for avoiding that property.  It's MEANT to, and the claims of a patent are meant to show others in the field how they can avoid the claimed property.

          To repeat, God save us from economists who think they know how to "fix" the patent system in this country.

          The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

          by TheOrchid on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 12:10:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It would own the right to the molecule (0+ / 0-)

            but no longer to the Kirchoff class.

            The Phase III part is the really expensive part.

          •  15% is still better odds than (0+ / 0-)

            fiunding a 10-bagger in the stock market.

          •  The company picks the molecules (0+ / 0-)

            and does (or pays for) the testing.

            The company generally just submits the best one it has found to the FDA.

            Let others look for better molecules at their expense.

          •  A few hundred thousand patents (0+ / 0-)

            are not a fence, they are a minefield.

            And as a patent attorney you should know words count.

            And in many cases the English language is not distinctive enough to write a really effective claim.

            I own many dictionaries including crossword puzzle dictionaries and thesauruses.

            Drugs being chemicals, are based on atoms (C, S, H ,O ,N) which can be clearly and distinctly described and inventions like drugs and chemicals can be well-protected by a patent system.

            A patent system that protects inventions via words is only as good as the language and since the English language is very much abused the US pantent system for inventions that must be described by words is not very good or effective.

            A mine is an effective weapon of war, but a soldier if he knows it is there can step around it.

          •  so effectively it is a mainly a mere nuisance (0+ / 0-)

            like dog dirt on a sidewalk

            the claims of a patent are meant to show others in the field how they can avoid the claimed property.
            except to large companies that until recently were able to map out and navigate through the patent minefield

            It's time to end the patent-based minefield cartel system.

            I would only allow for chemical patents.

            And I would have FDA approval collapse down Kirchoff patents to just the approved molecule unless it is agreed that the drug will be supplied at an individually affordable price.

            •  You rproposal is functionally unworkable. -eom- (0+ / 0-)

              The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

              by TheOrchid on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 05:46:04 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm sure a patent examiner (0+ / 0-)

                would say it's obviously simple for the submitting drug company to effectively do along with paying say an FDA approval issue fee. The drug company could be required to give a list of the relevant Kirchoff patent numbers to either the Patent Office or FDA.

                It's "not much" of a problem to do if I may paraphrase you.

                The problem could also be dealt in a court with proof of FDA approval, an official FDA certified copy of the description of the plaintiff's FDA approved molecule(s), and a motion by the defendent's lawyer to dismiss the patent infringement case.

                The plaintiff would have supplied the court with all the relevant Kirchoff patents and a description of the defendent's molecule, which would legally be required to be different from the plaintiff's approved molecule(s).

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