Other patents

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

A new approach to pharmaceutical innovations

I am always amazed by the people who read this BLOG. I have received phone calls from people like David Basskin, president of CMRRA, with thoughts on postings to this BLOG. Today I received an email from Professor Thomas Pogge at Columbia University Political Science Department, possibly in reply to a recent comment about the World Health Organization (WHO) and the USA's tunnel-vision views on patents.

He sent me links to an article in Australia's ON LINE Opinion, as well as an article authored by the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE) that was published by the WHO as part of ongoing public hearings (PDF). These articles discuss an alternative to patents (which he simply called patent-2) to provide incentives for pharmaceutical innovators. The incentive model sounds like something right out of the FLOSS world: you provide for fixed one-time payments, and allow the marginal licensing costs to be zero. In this case the fixed payment would come out of public funds, in proportion to the health impact of their invention. Like FLOSS you are not speculatively innovating for some unknown royalty reward, but for a known and far easier to collect fixed payment.

United States attacking pragmatic World Health Organization policy work.

An IP-Watch article by Tove Iren S. Gerhardsen includes:

The United States has busily negotiated bilateral free trade agreements with a variety of developing countries in recent years, and now appears to be using these to influence those countries’ positions in multilateral bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO).

I find it frustrating that the US is concerned that WHO work "could potentially harm the patent system", but has absolutely no concern that the current patent system could have (and many say already has) a harmful effect on health. I think someone's priorities are completely backwards!

Government of Canada Amends Intellectural Property Rules for Pharmaceuticals and Bio-Pharmaceuticals

The following is a press release from Industry Canada.

OTTAWA, October 18, 2006 --Today, the Government of Canada published Industry Canadas Regulations Amending the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations ("PM[NOC] Regulations") and Health Canadas Regulations Amending the Food and Drug Regulations in Part II of the Canada Gazette. These regulations, which came into force on October 5, 2006, will strengthen the economy in the long term by restoring certainty, predictability and balance to Canadas intellectual property framework for pharmaceuticals and bio-pharmaceuticals.

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