Thursday, March 01, 2007

Patent and IP rights or wrongs

Intellectual property and patents rights may indeed encourage creativity and innovation : rather than keeping your wisdom secret (hermeneutic alchemy like Coca-Cola), you publish what you know, and a bigger force (the state, the legal system...) grants you exclusivity in return for a certain period - not too long, not too short. And then it belongs to the commons.
It gets tricky in the details. See Novartis' case for Glivec in India. (disclaimer: I work for Novartis)
However, it's reported that the head of the World Intellectual Property Organisation WIPO , the responsible UN agency behaves in an irresponsible way by lying about his age . Looks like this was the way to get a job which he would otherwise not have qualified for.
More blows to the credibility of the IP and patents system - as exemplified by their leaders - and we might want to go back to the old days of the alchemists, the guilds and the Mafia.

Oops - I should not have said that ... ?


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