Other patents

Other types of patents that depend on manipulations of nature (tangible machines, manufacturing processes, chemical compositions like pharmaceuticals, etc).

PUBPAT Takes On Key HIV/AIDS Drug Patents

A PUBPAT press release includes:

The Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) announced today that it has filed formal requests with the United States Patent and Trademark Office challenging four key HIV/AIDS drug patents held by Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD). As part of its requests, PUBPAT submitted prior art that the Patent Office did not review before granting the patents to the Foster City, California, biopharmaceutical giant. PUBPAT also explained how the submitted prior art invalidates the patents and asked that the Patent Office initiate a process to revoke them.

Now is the time for international action on patents

An article by David Dickson, Director, SciDev.Net discusses the growing support for a re-shifting of PCT rules. While this focused on poor nations, the development agenda includes discussions of commons-based peer production which benefits everyone.

But patent rules have proved to be an Achilles heel of globalisation. A series of widely publicised cases have highlighted the social injustices that accompany globalisation. These range from the appropriation of indigenous knowledge by multinational companies, to the way that patents allow pharmaceutical companies to price essential medicines out of the reach of the poor.

Key Monsanto patent rejected: Analyst questions whether it's legal to protect plant technology

It was judicial activism, and not the US parliament, that allowed the patent monopoly to be extended from chemicals to living organisms in the USA. This started with single cells on upward. I believe the current thinking is that anything other than a human being can be patented in the USA at the moment.

According to an article by Jane Roberts in the The Commercial Appeal (Memphis), the USPTO is pushing back a little. Will this issue eventually be brought to parliament, where the moral and economic (rather than just the legal) implications of this expansion of patent law can be debated?

In Canada it wasn't even judicial activism, but lawyer activism that convinced CIPO to expand patentability -- largely using the mistakes of the US courts as their only evidence. This is a debate that cannot be left to lawyers, and must have economists and the general public weigh in on whether this type of monopoly is worthwhile.

MP3 players hit by patent infringement suit

A The Register article talks about more junk patents causing harm to innovators in the technology industry. While this patents is on the obvious concept of a portable audio/video player that decodes MPEG related standard file formats, many similar junk patents exist on all aspects of multimedia devices and software.

When will the US patent office recognize that allowing such obvious patents greatly harms innovation, both within the United States and worldwide?

CIPO Reviewing Software Patent Practice

A thank-you to Michael Geist for blogging about a revision of MOPOP.

Thanks to a reader for pointing out the the Canadian Intellectual Property Office is currently reviewing several chapters from its Manual of Patent Office Practice .  Chapters subject to review include those covering software patents and biotechnology, matters of interest to the open source and scientific communities. CIPO provides details on submitting comments here.

Steven Harper and Bill Gates helping AIDS victims? Not likely.

(Republished on p2pnet)
In case anyone missed it, Mr. Harper and Mr. Gates had a press conference yesterday where they spoke about funding (Investment?) for HIV/AIDS vaccine research. I doubt anyone in the audience asked whether any of the results of this "research" would be accessible to countries like Africa as a royalty-free generic drug, or whether royalty-free commons-based peer production techniques will be included (allowed?).

Like many other examples of alleged philanthropy, there will be more schemes to transfer taxpayer money into the pockets of Mr. Gates and/or Microsoft.

Yesterday in Question Period, Mr. Brian Masse (NDP's Industry Critic) asked the government a related question.

PUBPAT Executive Director Testifies Before U.S. House of Representatives on Patent Reform

NEW YORK -- February 15, 2007 -- Public Patent Foundation ("PUBPAT") Executive Director, Dan Ravicher, will testify today to the U.S. House of Representatives on the subject of patent reform. Ravicher will begin with an opening statement and then answer questions from Representatives on the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property, including Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA) and Ranking Member Howard Coble (R-NC), at the oversight hearing on "American Innovation at Risk: The Case for Patent Reform" scheduled for 2:00 pm this afternoon.

Word (World) to Novartis: drop lawsuit over Indian patent law

A Huffington Post BLOG article by James Love includes:

Novartis is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. It is suing the government of India to overturn key parts of the new (2005) Indian patent law, which are designed to protect the poor. MSF (known as Doctors without Borders in the USA), is collecting signatures asking the company to drop it's law suit. You should sign.

PUBPAT News: Wisconsin Group Eases Stem Cell Patent Restrictions After FTCR - PUBPAT Legal Challenge

A joint press release from PubPat and FTCR includes:

Santa Monica, CA -- January 23, 2007 -- Policy changes announced today that ease licensing requirements on human embryonic stem cell patents held by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) are a step in the right direction, but don't go far enough the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) said.

Merck, USTR ask Thailand to reconsider compulsory license on AIDS drug

A Huffington Post BLOG article by James Love includes:

Encouraged by Merck, the United States Trade Representative and the US Department of State are asking Thailand to reconsider it's recent decision to issue a compulsory license on patents on the AIDS drug Efavirenz. The Thai government announced the decision right before World AIDS' Day.

Is this how the US government sends seasons greetings to people dying around the world?

Note: Props to past US vice president Al Gore for seeing the light on climate change, but he was still part of this antiquated thinking about Patents, copyrights and trademarks (PCT) when vice president. I doubt he realizes how much his own thinking has been part of the problem he is now trying to solve.

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