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226 comments

For those of you looking for it ... (5, Informative)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354270)

article & bigger video can be found here [techdirt.com]

Of course IP needs to be rethunk. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23354930)

Of course IP needs to be rethunk. I want free shit and I tired - DAMN TIRED - of having to break the law to get it!! The laws need to be changed in my favor!!

Thanks,
Typical /.ian

Re:For those of you looking for it ... (1)

bball99 (232214) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355742)

thanks for the link, but could you waste 40 minutes of your time, then post a summary? i'm making dinner right now... :-)

Re:For those of you looking for it ... (1)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355802)

I am capable of wasting waaaayyy more than just 40 minutes of my time. What else do ya think I'm doing on /. to begin with?

Old concept in a new world (5, Insightful)

FiReaNGeL (312636) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354280)

Intellectual property is a very egoist concept nowadays, in a time in which technological innovation can help so many people. It depends on the way it is used; if you just sit on your invention for 20 years and prevent others from doing something similar, or if you sell it at an outrageous cost (see: drugs) it's really detrimental to humanity as a whole.

Re:Old concept in a new world (3, Insightful)

_PimpDaddy7_ (415866) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354508)

With regard to drugs, doesn't the research and testing that goes into drugs cost major $$$$$ and time?

Re:Old concept in a new world (3, Interesting)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354672)

Is the money you gain from prohibiting others from using the same idea in a generic drug worth the lives lost by those who are unable to afford your prices?

Re:Old concept in a new world (5, Insightful)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354704)

Probably not.

But if there is not a perceived investment opportunity, many drugs sold for high prices today (and lower prices tomorrow) would never have been developed.

Re:Old concept in a new world (2, Interesting)

dvice_null (981029) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354814)

Solution: Global government co-operation and government funded drug research. This way you don't have to use that much money for the adverticing either.

Re:Old concept in a new world (2, Funny)

naasking (94116) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355196)

Solution: Global government co-operation and government funded drug research. This way you don't have to use that much money for the adverticing either.

Oh yeah, because we don't alreayd have enough problems with government ruling a single nation, let's just create a global government to rule the world!

Re:Old concept in a new world (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23355592)

Obviously you haven't worked in government much. I've worked in industry for years before working for the government. I thought I had seen lots of waste in big industry, but that's nothing compared to what gets wasted by the government.

Don't get me wrong. There are some things that are better done by the government even at the outrageous cost it requires, but it's almost never the most cost effective way to do something when the government does it.

Re:Old concept in a new world (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355336)

I'm sure nobody would die without Viagra.

What really gets me is when they take a commonly known herbal medicine and patent that, and only because the economically dominant half of the world burnt their herbalists a few centuries ago. That kind of "research" is like Christopher Columbus's "discovery."

Re:Old concept in a new world (1)

chunk08 (1229574) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355790)

But some might not be born...

Re:Old concept in a new world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23355984)

...because sexual dysfunction is a useful characteristic to pass on.

Re:Old concept in a new world (4, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355388)

But if there is not a perceived investment opportunity, many drugs sold for high prices today (and lower prices tomorrow) would never have been developed.

This is true, but maybe if we allocated our tax dollars better we would have better drugs yet. The way things are now, a lot of the research is already funded by tax dollars, even though private companies end up with the patents. They also pass up avenues for research that might result in cures, which are much less profitable than treatments.

The drug industry and health industry in general is a situation where the government interferes with the free market by enforcing patents and subsidizing some research and restricting other research. The problem is not necessarily government interference, but the fact that the government interference is directed by lobbyists making campaign contributions instead of by representatives acting in the best interests of the people.

Re:Old concept in a new world (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354824)

The lives saved a medicine that was created are better than the lives lost because no-one could afford to create it.

Re:Old concept in a new world (5, Insightful)

reebmmm (939463) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354848)

Is the money you gain from prohibiting others from using the same idea in a generic drug worth the lives lost by those who are unable to afford your prices?

You've phrased this exactly backwards: is giving up a short term of exclusivity worth all the lives SAVED because someone took the time to invest the money in getting that drug from discovery through clinical trials.

Without patent protection, you'd have a free rider problem.

Re:Old concept in a new world (2, Insightful)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355030)

Depends on whether the inventor views success in terms of money gained or lives saved.

Not that those are the only ways to value success. It can easily be any combination of both.

Re:Old concept in a new world (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23355266)

Unfortunately making drugs that work are not like making free software and open hardware that works. It may happen in the future but for now it takes not one person but an entire pyramid of people. Crass as it may money grubbing scientists and businessmen make the best drugs right now.
The FDA has tried to shorten the process for some drugs and it made a mess. It takes 10+ years to get a drug to market so they have to make up that expense somewhere.

Right now they make up that expense by sticking it the richest country on earth....for now.

 

Re:Old concept in a new world (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355752)

Crass as it may money grubbing scientists and businessmen make the best drugs right now.

Sure, like Vioxx [wikipedia.org] or Seldane, [wikipedia.org] right?

When you view the cash as the bottom line in the medical industry, you've got a problem. [pharmalot.com]

Saw this quote in a doctor's office, and it seems to fit here:

"A physician should not enter the trade with the heart of a moneychanger."

Re:Old concept in a new world (1)

reebmmm (939463) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355286)

Well, frankly, the inventor is very unlikely to be the same person to take the drug to market. And, in order to convince someone to do that, they're going to want to know that their effort will not be wasted.

At least in the case of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, the arguments favoring patent protection have a lot more to do with the time and cost to get the invention to market than in many other fields. Simply getting a drug through clinical trials is a VERY expensive and risky endeavor.

Re:Old concept in a new world (2, Insightful)

monxrtr (1105563) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355832)

Without patent protection, you'd have a free rider problem.
Epistemologically impossible. Companies must by definition have the money to invest in drug research before they know whether the research will produce a viable drug or not. There must also by definition be a consumer market that will purchase the drug if it ends up viable. Thus the incentive for drug research exists *independently* of patent protection. Solution: those who need a drug themselves invest their money in finding a cure that can be copied by all who need it.

By definition of drug company profits it would be *cheaper* for those who need a drug medication to cut out the patent protected pharmaceutical company, as drug company profits would be turned into non-profit R&D medication cost SAVINGS! There would be no free rider "problem" as those who needed a medication by definition profited from realizing the development of a medication.

there are alternatives to patentry... (1)

mkcmkc (197982) | more than 6 years ago | (#23356026)

Without patent protection, you'd have a free rider problem.
Sure, but trade that against all of the societal problems that IP causes. We already deal with "free riders" when it comes to national defense, fire+police protection, hospitals, etc. It's not that we cannot live without patents--the question is whether we have the collective will to change our current system.

Re:Old concept in a new world (1)

njcoder (657816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354936)

While it would be nice if people did things for the greater good, warm fuzzy feelings can't feed a family.

Re:Old concept in a new world (5, Interesting)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354684)

Drug companies love to talk about the cost of developing their drugs, but they easily spend more money Marketing their drugs than they do developing them. If there drugs are so good and wonderfull, shouldn't they sell themselves?

This [familiesusa.org] gives much more information.

Re:Old concept in a new world (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23354808)

The cost of developing them dwarfs in comparison to making sure they work without too many side effects and satisfying the fda. How much is merck on the table for lawsuits over vioxx also?

Re:Old concept in a new world (1, Insightful)

reebmmm (939463) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354876)

This is more easily explained when you realize that the money spent on marketing turns into actual sales FASTER, more RELIABLY than taking a drug from discovery to market.

It's really not that surprising.

Re:Old concept in a new world (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355524)

I do IT work for small medical (home and industrial) and rehabilitation facilities in Houston. I find it funny that each desk has like 50 pins, 5 small calendars, notepads, and other nick-knacks with all the major drug brands and type all over them. Also worth mentioning is the fact I see at least one or two sales reps on-site. They pass along all this marketing stuff like candy to children as though it was Halloween.

Is this a good or bad thing? I can't say. But, I wanted to pass along my experiences while out on the IT support battlefield.

Re:Old concept in a new world (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354884)

That article talks about administrative costs (this is where employee salaries get accounted for) as if they are somehow evil drains on what should be R&D spending. If there wasn't any administrative cost, there wouldn't be a company. You are making it worse by grouping administrative, sales and marketing costs all under 'marketing'.

Drug companies spend a healthy amount of money on marketing, and they make healthy profits, but the solution isn't to dismantle them, it is to build more efficient competitors and then let them dismantle themselves. If it isn't possible to build a more efficient competitor, then the law needs to be changed, or the drug companies are making appropriate profits.

Re:Old concept in a new world (3, Insightful)

JPLemme (106723) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355170)

If drug companies earned very small profits, then I would agree that the high prices of the drugs are required to recoup their R&D investment. But (and I'm relying on memory, not actual facts or anything) drug companies have historically been really, really profitable. And consistently profitable. So the high prices are getting redistributed to their shareholders, not to the common good.

It's possible that the high profits were the reason that there was so much money for R&D in the first place, but if there was ever a case where a free-trade believer like me could justify using everybody's money (via taxes) to subsidize the development of drugs that can benefit the sick, then this would probably be that case.

Re:Old concept in a new world (3, Insightful)

bunratty (545641) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355532)

If you know anything about investment, you know that the higher risk, the higher the expected profit. Developing drugs is a risky business, because companies get only seventeen years at most of exclusivity in selling each drug, then they need to develop more "blockbusters" to continue their revenue stream. I suppose they seem "consistently profitable" to you because there are so many mergers and buyouts in the industry. The ones that aren't profitable disappear.

Re:Old concept in a new world (4, Insightful)

Znork (31774) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355472)

With regard to drugs, doesn't the research and testing that goes into drugs cost major $$$$$ and time?

The research of new drugs costs nowhere near what the marketing does.

Take a look at the financial report of your average pharmco; approximately 15-20% is spend on R&D, 40% on marketing and administration, and 40% on comparatively inefficient production (compare generics pricing).

That means we'd get 5 times as much medical R&D if the insurance companies and government simply funded it outright and let the free market generics handle the production and marketing. Or we could get the same level we're getting today at a fifth of the cost.

The only thing patents give you is monopoly inefficiency. A level of inefficiency that surpasses even what governments can waste on their own.

Imagine the diseases we could cure and the medicines we'd have access to had medical research funding not been bogged down and hindered by a century of patents.

Oh, well, at least you can be sure your doctor is well equipped with complimentary pencils and golf vacations.

Re:Old concept in a new world (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355898)


That means we'd get 5 times as much medical R&D if the insurance companies and government simply funded it outright and let the free market generics handle the production and marketing.


Assuming that the government could efficiently manage such a thing seems questionable. I wouldn't be too surprised if the cost turned out to be the same plus as the drug companies because of governmental inefficiencies (pork barrelling, set asides, ecess overheads, etc.) AND the time to market was much slower.

Re:Old concept in a new world (4, Insightful)

WaltBusterkeys (1156557) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354514)

It depends on the way it is used; if you just sit on your invention for 20 years and prevent others from doing something similar, or if you sell it at an outrageous cost (see: drugs) it's really detrimental to humanity as a whole.
But it's equally detrimental if those innovations are never made. It's just as bad to NEVER INVENT something as to not sell it, or to sell it at high prices. Most people who innovate don't do it for free; they do it because they need to feed their families and might even hope to strike it big.

And the process of innovation is rarely cheap. You use the example of drugs. For every one drug that makes it to market, hundreds of drugs fail animal tests or basic safety tests, and tens more fail in human trials. These are extremely expensive. Right now we compensate drug developers for the risk and expenses of drug design by allowing them to sell the successful drugs at a price above cost. Requiring that drugs be sold at or near cost would put a halt to innovation that has saved countless lives; there'd just be no reason to sink millions (or even billions) into research and testing if any competitor could copy your product as soon as it it the shelves.

There might be other ways to encourage innovation (government grants, government funding, competitions, etc), but any solution has to recognize that innovation is rarely cheap.

Re:Old concept in a new world (4, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354618)

If nobody can use something, it's still useless.

If nobody can improve it further (which is the original reason for improvement patents), then it's hampering innovation in the first place.

If someone were to patent running processes on a computer, where do you think software innovation is going to go?

For drugs, the price is now dictated by the maker regardless of the cost of manufacturing...hello superexpensive medicines in africa? Whoops?

The millions and billions are collective research, not just solely put on one product. It's throwing money at the wall, waiting for some to stick, and suing the hell out of everyone once something does.

Re:Old concept in a new world (4, Interesting)

WaltBusterkeys (1156557) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354726)

The millions and billions are collective research, not just solely put on one product. It's throwing money at the wall, waiting for some to stick,
Yes, because it's impossible to know in advance which concept will work. There is no way to know that Molecule #1512 will be the one that will become a successful therapy, and that #1-#1511 will be failures. Investigating the first 1511 is an absolute prerequisite to finding out that #1512 is the one that will work. You call it "throwing money at the wall," but that's the only practical way to do drug research these days. You start with a bunch of compounds that look like possible candidates, then slowly weed out the ones that don't work or cause unacceptable side-effects or otherwise aren't promising.

If there were a way to know in advance which drugs would work then nobody would waste time looking at the unsuccessful ones.

Re:Old concept in a new world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23355156)

What you're describing is a brute force attack on finding new drugs. Real chemists know that there are actual patterns in chemistry and doctors know that there are receptors that need to be targeted.

Re:Old concept in a new world (2, Interesting)

WaltBusterkeys (1156557) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355492)

Real chemists know that there are actual patterns in chemistry and doctors know that there are receptors that need to be targeted.
No kidding. Drug developers don't randomly dump household chemicals into petri dishes trying to get a reaction. If you know that a given enzyme is relevant to a disease, it gives a general idea as to what kinds of drugs might work. The problem is that the human body is incredibly complex. Just look at one protein in the process of folding [cnx.org] . Tell me how easy it is to identify one molecule that will correct an error in that process without messing up other systems.

Drug designers use a pen and paper to narrow it down to a range of possibilities, then they have to run tests against hundreds (if not thousands) of possible targets to figure out which one has the exact desired effect without causing other harm.

Re:Old concept in a new world (2, Insightful)

bunratty (545641) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355578)

If you or anyone else has a better way to discover new drugs, you have the right to start your own company and wipe out the competition. What are you waiting for?

Re:Old concept in a new world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23355226)

Right, but did Thomas Edison expect compensation for the 1999 failed attempts to invent the light bulb? No one is saying that you shouldn't be able to profit from your inventions, but to expect a monopoly on your invention in perpetuity is NOT the intent of the patent system. And thank god for that or Con-Ed might be the only manufacturer of light bulbs in this country and we'd all be paying 20 bucks/bulb for an inferior product!

Re:Old concept in a new world (2, Insightful)

bunratty (545641) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355422)

a monopoly on your invention in perpetuity is NOT the intent of the patent system
Correct. But a monopoly on your invention for seventeen years is the intent of the patent system, and it allows the people or companies that spend money on R&D on the invention to recoup their costs.

Re:Old concept in a new world (1)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355406)

You're absolutely correct that it takes a ton of research (and hence a ton of money) to find those few successful drugs that work.

The question remains: is the most sensible way to pay for all that research to hide the cost in successful drugs? Is giving out temporary monopolies on the sale of drugs really the most efficient (and ethical) way to it?

On the surface of it, something feels "wrong" about having the price of drugs be so uncorrelated to their manufacturing cost. Digging deeper, it is surely bothersome that the prices we are charged for drugs may be well above what is needed to pay for all the research. (For instance, approximately half of that money goes into advertising.) Deeper still, and it seems wholly unethical to charge people so much for things they need to save their lives.

What are the alternatives? Well, we could just fund scientists to do the research and release the results for anyone to use. (Companies would then compete only on who can manufacture the drugs to specification at the best price.) In fact, a large amount of medical research is already performed outside of industry. I don't see why we couldn't divert the current money put towards buying expensive drugs, and put it towards directly funding the research instead.

True, we lose the free market competition of having pharmaceutical companies competing with each other to find the next drug (although university scientists do indeed compete with each other, too). On the other hand, we would no longer be indirectly paying for advertising (and other business-specific expenses). So, unless independent scientific research is horribly inefficient compared to industrial research (which I doubt), then it makes more sense to fund them directly.

Re:Old concept in a new world (1)

WaltBusterkeys (1156557) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355618)

Thank you for a well-reasoned post. It's much better than "OMG! Patents are teh suxors!"

I ultimately disagree -- I doubt that we'd get as much successful research under your model -- but it's at least a solution that has some potential. I just fail to see universities conducting massive clinical trials, especially in light of the high risk of tort lawsuits for failed trials (see the gene therapy death [msn.com] ). It's true that right now universities conduct a lot of the work of physical trials, but they are backed by pharamacos that will pay their legal bills if they get sued. I don't see a university risking its billion-dollar endowment over high-risk drug testing. And, unfortunately, all Phase I and II drug testing is high-risk.

Re:Old concept in a new world (1)

naasking (94116) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355292)

If nobody can use something, it's still useless.

If nobody can improve it further (which is the original reason for improvement patents), then it's hampering innovation in the first place.

If someone were to patent running processes on a computer, where do you think software innovation is going to go?


While I'm not a patent fan in general, these are pure strawman arguments. It's quite obvious that someone will be able to use it, else it wouldn't have been developed. It's also quite clear that someone is able to improve it, namely the patent holder. Saying "nobody" in the above is just plain wrong.

Patenting "computer processes" is also far too vague to ever be patented, so this is another strawman.

Please try and make your arguments absent any glaring logical fallacies next time.

Re:Old concept in a new world (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23355732)

Hey POT meet KETTLE
 
  http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=548504&cid=23355196 [slashdot.org]
 
Your own troll is guilty of the strawman.

Re:Old concept in a new world (3, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354956)

But it's equally detrimental if those innovations are never made. It's just as bad to NEVER INVENT something as to not sell it, or to sell it at high prices. Most people who innovate don't do it for free; they do it because they need to feed their families and might even hope to strike it big.
This is a nice pipedream, but most innovations happen because companies want to sell a product. It would happen without a patent regime too.

And the process of innovation is rarely cheap. You use the example of drugs. For every one drug that makes it to market, hundreds of drugs fail animal tests or basic safety tests, and tens more fail in human trials. These are extremely expensive.
The process of innovation isn't cheap and the pharma companies know this too. That is why they got the US government to fund their research costs almost entirely. Direct research funding from the govt. drives 90% of base drug research, plus the huge tax breaks these companies receive basically means that the government pays for just about all drug research going on in the states. Safety testing is quite cheap compared to this.

Right now we compensate drug developers for the risk and expenses of drug design by allowing them to sell the successful drugs at a price above cost. Requiring that drugs be sold at or near cost would put a halt to innovation that has saved countless lives; there'd just be no reason to sink millions (or even billions) into research and testing if any competitor could copy your product as soon as it it the shelves.
I already said, but I'll reiterate my point: the government already pays for at least 90% of this research. These companies add 10% research, patent the government research and rake in the bucks. Please just do a cursory research and you'll find the numbers. By the way, pharma spends twice as much on advertising than on research (research nominally, without substracting the tax breaks from this number).

There might be other ways to encourage innovation (government grants, government funding, competitions, etc), but any solution has to recognize that innovation is rarely cheap.
Innovation is not cheap, but why pay for it if you can get the govt. to do so? Pharma wants to have their cake and eat it too. Even at the cost of lives due to the artificially high drug prices. If you look at the tech industry, it can be clearly seen that most research is done in order to sell a product.

Re:Old concept in a new world (1)

WaltBusterkeys (1156557) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355456)

There's a big difference between basic research and drug development. Even assuming that basic research revealed only one candidate drug, and that this candidate drug actually worked without side effects, you'd still have to get through animal trials, Phase 0, Phase I, Phase II and Phase III trials [wikipedia.org] .

Unfortunately, that's not how basic research works.

Basic research is research that reveals "Protein X is involved with Alzheimer's" or "a shortage of enzyme Y leads to arthritis." That's a great head start, but that doesn't tell you how to cure it. It just gives some sense of direction to the next steps. Designing a drug that affects protein X or enzyme Y without disturbing other systems is still an incredibly difficult task. And it's a task that can be accomplished in a number of ways, which is why we leave it to competing companies to figure out the best solution.

Re:Old concept in a new world (2, Insightful)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355000)

It's just as bad to NEVER INVENT something as to not sell it, or to sell it at high prices.

If that were really the choice, then I would agree with you completely. But in reality if Bob doesn't invent something today then Charlie will likely invent it next year, or Dave the hobbyist will invent it in a decade when the field becomes widely understood.

Thinking about "NEVER INVENT" is absurd. The best case for patents is that they cause something to be invented sooner. And patents that last for 20 years are only a good deal if they, on average, cause inventions to be published more than 20 years sooner than they otherwise would be.

Neither of us have any solid figures comparing the date of publications of inventions with or without patents - I can't even think of any way to collect that data - but a claim that patents speed up innovations by more than 20 years in todays high tech fields is obviously absurd.

Re:Old concept in a new world (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23355142)

"Most people who innovate don't do it for free; they do it because they need to feed their families and might even hope to strike it big."

So - you're saying that NO drug manufacturer ever had a family member or good friend die of cancer?

Feeding your family is easy - get a job at Pizza Hut - so that leaves 'striking it rich' as the ONLY motivation for any innovation, at least in your mind. Right?

Re:Old concept in a new world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23355416)

But it's equally detrimental if those innovations are never made. It's just as bad to NEVER INVENT something as to not sell it, or to sell it at high prices.


And it's significantly worse to invent something, sit on it, and SUE ANYONE WHO INVENTS IT INDEPENDENTLY.

Re:Old concept in a new world (3, Insightful)

nohup (26783) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354652)

"If you sell it at an outrageous cost (see: drugs) it's really detrimental to humanity as a whole."

Wouldn't it be more detrimental if the drug is never developed in the first place? Developing a new drug costs anywhere from $800 million to $2 billion dollars, and takes around 12-15 years. Of the drugs that come on the market, only around 30% of them actually make enough revenue to actually pay for all their upfront costs. It's a high risk game and I know people that have put in lots of money into making a medical innovation and ended up burned. They won't be doing that again.

I don't like high drug costs as much as the next guy, but at least the innovation is occurring and after it's 20-year or so patent runs out, we'll all reap the benefits at great savings.

Re:Old concept in a new world (2, Interesting)

Znork (31774) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355664)

It's a high risk game

Well, maybe it's time to quit playing games and instead start taking the issue seriously. Improving the system isn't rocket science; it just means dumping the whole idea of patents and starting paying just for the actual R&D and letting the marketing and production be handled by the free market. In competition.

A functional system would get us five times the R&D for the same money we're paying the pharmaceuticals today.

I don't like high drug costs as much as the next guy

I don't mind the high drug costs, I mind the fact that of the large amounts of money I pay, more is wasted on marketing than is spent on R&D.

Re:Old concept in a new world (1)

nohup (26783) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355770)

"Well, maybe it's time to quit playing games and instead start taking the issue seriously. Improving the system isn't rocket science; it just means dumping the whole idea of patents and starting paying just for the actual R&D and letting the marketing and production be handled by the free market. In competition.

"A functional system would get us five times the R&D for the same money we're paying the pharmaceuticals today.


Five times the R&D for the same money? Just how do you propose that? Sure they spend a lot on marketing, but not THAT much.

So let me get this straight, you're proposing getting rid of patents for drugs and paying for all the R&D with government money? Are you so happy with your current government that you're willing to let those decisions rest in the hands of bureaucrats? So the rate of innovation and the amount of money spent is dependent on decisions of bureaucrats? If your a Democrat, do you like the idea of Bush & co running it? If you're a Republican, do you like the idea of Democrats running such a system?

Can you point to any examples of something like what you propose that is working well today in the real world? Because when I think of progress and innovation at a reasonable cost, the first thing that comes into my mind certainly isn't "government".

Re:Old concept in a new world (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23354692)

Modded insightful by gobshites who never created anything of value and likely never will.

Re:Old concept in a new world (1, Flamebait)

Dausha (546002) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355966)

Yours is a naive comment. Imagine I invent a better mousetrap. It will save lives, reverse global warming, whatever. I start "MouseTraps Inc." and start manufacturing the mousetrap. The Acme corporation buys a copy of my invention, then using it's massive economy of scale drives me out of business. Sure, society benefits, but the inventor is harmed. Therefore, I am less willing to innovate.

If I invent something and sell at an outrageous prices, that's the market economy. If you don't want to pay $1,000; then don't buy it. Nobody is holding a gun to your head. You cite drugs as an example of outrageous cost that harms society. Do you realize that of the 40 years of prolonged life expectancy we've gained over the past century, 35 of those years are from sanitation? The other 5 are from clinical medicine.

Wouldn't it be better to live a better quality life than quality? Put more life into the years you have, rather than extend them. Besides, living a longer life puts a burden on Medicare and Social Security. The original idea of Social Security is most people wouldn't life long enough to enjoy it. That's not the case now. Medicare makes matters worse: you pay to help them live longer, then you pay because they are living longer.

What's worse is they are finding out that many of these great new drugs are not as effective than some generics.

On top of that, there's an article carping about the 6,666,666,666 billion people on the earth today. Three times the population 80 years ago. Six times the population of 1850. Twelve times the population of 1750. I should think prolonging life expectancy is counter-productive. Too many people puts a burden on our infrastructure. We have more cars because we have more people. We have more oil consumption because we have more people. Maybe we should wipe 5 billion off the map so we can have cheaper oil and clearer roads!

A better way of saying this... (5, Insightful)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354352)

How big businesses, attorneys, and the court system have hijacked our us patent system to squelch new entrepreneur innovation in the US...

Let me summarize the conclusion as well... Good ideas on IP change do not matter at this point because nothing meaningful will happen until we can somehow get congress to stop their continuous feeding at the trough of corporate lobbyists...

Re:A better way of saying this... (3, Interesting)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354538)

..somehow get congress to stop their continuous feeding at the trough of corporate lobbyists...
Congress doesn't want to stop feeding on the trough. It's in their best interest, in the form of donations, to continue getting their money. They are, after all, only their for their reelection, and not really there for the people.

Re:A better way of saying this... (4, Insightful)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354600)

Exactly my point...

In fairness, history tells me that this behavior was caused by "too good of times" for too long. Meaning, during the good times people really just ignore what their elected officials do. Once things turn sour for more than a brief period, however, this will change... I guess only time will tell if history will repeat itself.. :)

Re:A better way of saying this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23354544)

... and an hearty 'Amen' was heard from the brother normally sleeping on the back pew 8-)

Re:A better way of saying this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23354658)

Do you really see new start-ups being squashed? Seems to me the start-up biz is booming here more than in any other country. Entrepreneurs (especially in biotech and medical devices) are relying on the patents in order to protect themselves while they create new companies.

Re:A better way of saying this... (4, Insightful)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354754)

Well, let me put it this way... Large businesses use patents in a strategy of what they call an "IP moat".... Meaning, the main reason MS, IBM, and countless other businesses are building huge patent portfolios are not because of all of the "innovation" they are doing, but rather because of their desire to protect their core business from any potential rising competition...

At first look, this does not seem like a bad thing, until you realize that most of the large businesses that exist today could have never grown up in such an environment.... Meaning, for a free market capitalism system to function, older obsolete businesses must die and new more competitive businesses must rise to take their place. In the current business environment, this mechanism cannot occur...

So, do you still think that startups are not being hurt?? :)

Re:A better way of saying this... (1)

martyros (588782) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355850)

I think "IP Moat" can clearly be applied to Verizon (suing Vonage for an obvious way -- sorry, the only way to connect a phone to the internet), but whom has IBM and MS ever sued for patent infringement? Large software corporations need it to protect themselves from patent infringement from other software corporations, since just about anything in software is patentable. As my software company has become larger, we've been encouraged to submit software patents on our technology to provide "air cover" against an established competitor, who has had a decade to come up with obvious software patents. If we have our own, then it will end up in a "cross-licensing" deal.

Re:A better way of saying this... (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355920)

I dont think anyone was saying that new businesses weren't being hurt...

Re:A better way of saying this... (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354776)

In other words: impeach everyone in Congress and start anew.

Re:A better way of saying this... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355232)

The problem isn't with the elected, it's with the electors. Those who would be impeached would probably end up getting voted in again anyway.

Re:A better way of saying this... (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355398)

Which is why we need a constitutional amendment allowing for a two-term Senate and a 3-4-term House.

Of course this will never happen. The most recent amendment, the one that makes congressional pay raises take effect at the next term, has been proposed since the Constitution's ratification and was finally added in 1992.

Re:A better way of saying this... (1)

LonghornXtreme (954562) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355818)

Are you kidding me? The patent system is what protects a new entrpreneur from big business just stealing the entrepreneur's idea for a fixed duration of time.

Granted big business uses the same protections but so what? If you are a small time inventor that comes up with something unique and worth a lot of money, you definitely want IP protection.

IP will never go away. (2, Insightful)

Recovering Hater (833107) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354372)

The concept of IP is here to stay. We have too many laws already on the books and there is too much money invested in IP for anything to drastically change. The power brokers in Hollywood and in Washington are only going to perpetuate the current system as long as they can.

Re:IP will never go away. (5, Insightful)

Zigurd (3528) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354574)

To say that copyright protection for recorded performances is permanent is like saying gasoline engines are forever going to power cars. There was a time before gas engines, and copyright recorded performances, and there will be a time that comes after.

As with gas engines and global warming, if we find that copyright protection for recorded performance amounts to pollution of the law and of the public domain, there is every reason to do away with that aspect of copyright protection.

Copyright is not a fundamental human right. Copyright is a deal: "I'll publish, if the governments protects publications." Unlike natural rights, copyright is a created right, a bargain between governments and publishers, and the bargain can be partially or fully revoked, or the term shortened. There is nothing immoral about revoking or curtailing copyright protection, especially for a relative novelty like recorded performances. It is a decision based on utility.

Re:IP will never go away. (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354860)

To say that copyright protection for recorded performances is permanent is like saying gasoline engines are forever going to power cars. There was a time before gas engines, and copyright recorded performances, and there will be a time that comes after.
Gasoline engines are going to forever power cars. The oil industry will see to it that no alternative fuels will ever gain mainstream support, or at least no alternative fuels that do not rely on oil in some way.

Copyright is not a fundamental human right. Copyright is a deal: "I'll publish, if the governments protects publications." Unlike natural rights, copyright is a created right, a bargain between governments and publishers, and the bargain can be partially or fully revoked, or the term shortened. There is nothing immoral about revoking or curtailing copyright protection, especially for a relative novelty like recorded performances. It is a decision based on utility.
Tell that to Sonny Bono disciples.

Re:IP will never go away. (2, Interesting)

rs79 (71822) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355120)

" Gasoline engines are going to forever power cars. The oil industry will see to it that no alternative fuels will ever gain mainstream support, or at least no alternative fuels that do not rely on oil in some way"

Now that Canola oil is cheaper than diesel I use half andf half if nothing else to reduced demand on diesel.

It's nice to see that a 25 yr old jalopy Merdeces oilburner has gone from on average $500 to $5000 in 6 months.

Hope it holds up as well for the next half million miles.

RS
83 300SD

Re:IP will never go away. (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355964)

Gasoline engines are going to forever power cars. The oil industry will see to it that no alternative fuels will ever gain mainstream support, or at least no alternative fuels that do not rely on oil in some way.
Except that there is a finite supply of gasoline, and that supply will be exhausted well before the usefulness of cars goes away. it may (or may not) be within our own lifetimes, but from a historical timescale, oil won't last much longer (in 250 years the wells will be bone dry). The oil companies will never be able to ensure that we're still relying on oil when we are simply OUT OF OIL. At that time those gas companies better quickly start pushing some other fuel, otherwise the local power plant is going to have a really nice competitive option: providing you with a car that actually moves once again.

Re:IP will never go away. (1)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354966)

I didn't realize that Hollywood had vested interests in patents??? What in the world would they need patents for ?? :)

Re:IP will never go away. (1)

PoliTech (998983) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355604)

I didn't realize that Hollywood had vested interests in...

Internet Protocol

International Paper (hmmm. down -26 today, maybe I'll buy a few shares).

Interesting People

Oh Wait! TFA is talking about Intellectual Property! Which in this thread refers to creations of the mind.

IP can be inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce.

Intellectual property is divided into two categories:

Industrial property, which includes inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic indications of source;

and

Copyright, which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and architectural designs. Rights related to copyright include those of performing artists in their performances, producers of phonograms in their recordings, and those of broadcasters in their radio and television programs.

Or we're you just being deliberately obtuse?

conspiracy nonexistent? nobody's infactdead? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23354380)

dismissing unpopular viewpoints/information prior to investigation, is a self-defeating fear/ego based behaviour. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080108/ts_alt_afp/ushealthfrancemortality;_ylt=A9G_RngbRIVHsYAAfCas0NUE
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece

Intellectual Property Tax (5, Insightful)

apenzott (821513) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354448)

This could be a wonderful revenue opportunity for cash-strapped state and local governments.

When such a court claim is made on infringement of this intellectual property by a business located within the tax jurisdiction, just take the claimed infringement value and multiply it by the prevailing property tax rate and invoice said property holder. (Be sure to tack on interest and penalties for back taxes.)

If property holder doesn't pay in 90 days, start lien and foreclosure proceedings.

To recover the costs of this collection, auction off this IP. If there is no starting bid (1% of value), property becomes public domain.

Re:Intellectual Property Tax (1)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354588)

For all the years I've been following IP news, this is something I never really stopped to think about. If IP is worth so damn much, why is it that companies such as RIAA constituent companies trumpet claims about how much damages they suffered, yet basically pay no tax on the IP to the government? Sure, CDs are taxed, distribution is taxed, but if something is worth so much, why not tax it? Capital gains tax? Every year it seems like these lawsuits get bigger and bigger, so IP must be growing in value, and the government could tax that growth.

Re:Intellectual Property Tax (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354842)

How much is Linux worth?

Now once you figure that out, who will pay the tax on it and where?

Re:Intellectual Property Tax (1)

reebmmm (939463) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355018)

What makes you think that IP isn't taxed? Contrary to your post, IP is taxed (at least in the US). There really are two basic tax issues that are difficult for any taxation: when is there a tax event and how do you value the ip.

The tax code actually does a reasonable job answering both of these questions. If you look at the tax code, IP is taxed like all other intangible things. Licenses are taxed upon the income received by the license. Assignments (sale) are taxed much like other capital. Court judgments and settlement payouts from lawsuits will be taxed like any other award.

Companies like Microsoft spend a lot of effort to move their IP into low tax jurisdictions.

It's unlikely that you'd see a real estate like tax imposed on IP for a couple reasons: 1. it depreciates since each year its useful life shortens with each passing year; 2. Valuing a particular piece of IP is nearly impossible in the abstract.

Re:Intellectual Property Tax (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23355192)

IP valuation seems easy enough to me. The holder of the IP must declare its value. Once it does so, that becomes the statutory license fee for that IP and the upper limit of any damages in infringement cases. So if a song is really worth $10K/per copy then you pay taxes on that amount ($10K * copiesSold / taxRate). If it's not, it's now in their best interest to reduce the claimed value.

Re:Intellectual Property Tax (1)

bfmorgan (839462) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354626)

Best idea of ever heard of for dealing with this issue and I'm not a tax 'everything' type of guy.

Re:Intellectual Property Tax (2, Insightful)

WaltBusterkeys (1156557) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354654)

multiply it by the prevailing property tax rate
The only asset that gets taxed in most jurisdictions is land. Other kinds of assets (factory equipment, inventory, raw materials, etc) doesn't get taxed at all.

Applying your formula would always result in $0.

Re:Intellectual Property Tax (1)

hakr89 (719001) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354828)

The only asset that gets taxed in most jurisdictions is land. Other kinds of assets (factory equipment, inventory, raw materials, etc) doesn't get taxed at all.
But most factory equipment, inventory, raw materials, etc. don't require a deed of some sort to show ownership. Patents, copyrights, and trademarks do, and they are similar to land because the government is granting you that ownership.

Re:Intellectual Property Tax (3, Insightful)

krazytekn0 (1069802) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355060)

A receipt and/or bill of sale is legally equal to a "deed" And yes, if someone claims you stole their backhoe and the police show up, you'd better damn well have your bill of sale.

Re:Intellectual Property Tax (1)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354880)

Huh? Never owned a business, eh? In the Good Ol' US of A, the means of production is taxed to the hilt. The chair you sit on is subject to property tax. So are the paperclips in your desk, the money in the bank account, the computer, and pretty much everything and anything that can be inventoried or counted.

If IP is so valuable, then tax it. I'm all for that.

Re:Intellectual Property Tax (3, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354730)

you Sir are a freaking Genius.

Tax ALL intellectual property based on it's value. All OSS and FSF IP has zero tax as it is given away freely.

Holy crap you hit the nail on the head in such an elegant way none of them will see it coming.

You found a solution to All if the Intellectual Property messes by giving the politicians something to tax. Holy crap I'm going to start talking about this to the right people to see if I can get it rolling in my state.

This is in fact the answer. As soon as governments start taking tax on IP these idiots at the RIAA, MPAA and BSA will stand back and go... wooooah. Wait a minute.

Base the TAX they get on how much they sued for infringement. That would make it that record companies need to ante up billions in taxes.

BRILLIANT!

Re:Intellectual Property Tax (1)

evilphish_mi (1282588) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354820)

I'm torn on this idea. Although the RIAA/MPAA are out of control with their lawsuits. Do we realy want to give our government more money? Polititcians can't keep themselves from overspending on a gumball.

Re:Intellectual Property Tax (2, Interesting)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355118)

I'm not sure if that was sarcasm or not. However, it might sort of backfire on F/OSS, creating a sort of extreme "you get what you pay for" condition.

If Free or Open Source software is not taxable, that is because it has no value. Why do I want something that has no value?

F/OSS DOES have value. It just usually has no cost associated with it. This is hard enough to explain as it is.

Companies such as Red Hat, then, would not have to pay tax on Free software. This is good. But they're selling it. This means that they'll probably get rounded up in the IP tax scheme anyway, which is bad.

I suppose if it were based on how much a company claims it lost due to "infringement," then it wouldn't be an issue for RH, but still... you know its just going to get assessed.

Even if I give away real estate, the person who gets it is going to have to pay tax on it. If I give away software, are they going to be liable for the tax?

Anyway... enough rambling. I only took a a real estate law class one time. I am not a lawyer. Don't mind me.

Re:Intellectual Property Tax (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355568)

Just remember that the GPL is valid to the extend of copyright law. That is, if copyrights are encouraged to become worthless, the punishment GLP violations won't be terribly discouraging.

Re:Intellectual Property Tax (1)

carnivorouscow (1255116) | more than 6 years ago | (#23356086)

What is every piece of software under GNU GPL worth as a whole? The FSF doesn't have the cash handy to meet the necessary tax load and would have to put it up for sale to pay it's taxes. I'm sure we all know who has the cash and motivation to buy all those patents up, pay the taxes on them and sit on them.

Intellectual Property Tax doesn't sound quite so good now, does it?

Re:Intellectual Property Tax (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355248)

Indeed, this is a great way for large companies to dig up copyrighted works for a pittance.

Just find one you like, and violate the copyright. They can't hope to recover any damages cause you could easily drive potential damages into the millions, which would mean they'd owe that plus your punitive back taxes (damn them for creating things of value.) And if they try, you can just snap it up for a pittance after the government takes it away. Or have someone else get it for you.

The lesson learned here, of course, is:
1) Don't copyright works, because the copyright system is now completely twisted against itself,
2) Don't create works, cause either you'll copyright it and get screwed, or someone else will screw you anyway.

Re:Intellectual Property Tax (1)

AcidPenguin9873 (911493) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355318)

No. Here's an analogy:

Unsold cars at a car dealership are "property" too, but the dealership does not get taxed on this "property" if someone steals one of them.

Now, the problem with this analogy (as I'm sure would have been pointed out by 10 different people and modded +5 Insightful) is that with Intellectual Property, the original property owner is not deprived of anything if someone steals the IP, because IP costs $0 to replicate. Unlike a car.

However, the analogy isn't totally worthless. The point isn't the deprivation or lack thereof of said property holder - it's that someone else acquired something of value that the property holder owns, without compensating the property owner. That view applies to both cars and IP.

Re:Intellectual Property Tax (1)

reebmmm (939463) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355394)

Many many problems with your theory.

First, the taxing authority you propose may not be that of the IP owners. A defendant can bring suit in their own jurisdiction EVEN if they're the bad actors--it's called declaratory judgment.

Second, the awards in IP cases aren't proportional to the ACTUAL value of the ip on the open market. That's not new; and it was never a proxy for that value. Excluding punitive damages (for willfulness), awards in patent cases are usually for a "reasonable royalty." But a reasonable royalty in litigation isn't calculated as if the transaction had occurred before there was infringement.

In addition, a value of a patent might not be the value assigned in a license relationship, but instead in the ability to exclude others.

Third, judgments and amounts gained by settlement ARE taxed just like in any other case.

Fourth, IP IS TAXED! Why does everyone assume it's not. Check the tax code.

Fifth, and I'd have to look into this, but I'd imagine any attempt by a LOCAL government to tax IP based on local real estate taxes will run afoul of not imposing multiple taxes on the same property: e.g. attempts to tax the same property in many localities.

There's probably a lot more. So sorry, try again.

Rethink? (1)

extirpater (132500) | more than 6 years ago | (#23354474)

better not to think.

Related Stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23354478)

by
by
Is this subliminal message (bye-bye?) hinting that the Attorney is going to get off'd by IP holders? Stay tuned for the gruesome results!

I can hatch rubber chicken from my gay nigger anus (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23354632)

I love to be fucked deep in the ass by my gay nigger association of america (GNAA) buddies.

I can now fit a whole rubber chicken into my anus coiled, and poo it out on demand! I wink my nose like the bewitched bitch and out falls a poo stained rubber chicken!

The death of IP (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23355270)

Generally speaking,
I'm not a software pirate. I use FOSS.
I'm not a media pirate. I listen to CC stuff.
I'm not an encyclopedia pirate. I use wikipedia.

When all is open, patents are basically unenforceable. You can own an implementation via copyright, but you can't own an idea.

I won't drive anyone out of business pirating their stuff. I'll drive them out of business by obsoleting it.
~ethana2 (too lazy to login)

Re:The death of IP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23355692)

Do you pay for all of your porn ?

I'm an adult webmaster and all of these "youtube-style streaming flash video" porn sites are causing quite a stir in the industry right now (same as the non-adult ones are for television, movie and music video industries I guess). It's funny that this was posted on /. today because I was having a similar conversation with some of my peers on a webmaster forum. The specific forum thread was a link to an article about Torrentspy losing in court and the general consensus in that forum was that it was a good thing. It's a hard crowd to argue IP-reform with because there's so many content producers who are clinging to IP-rights and they're all money-hungry Ferengis basically. One particular guy I was arguing with said that he feels the adult industry should adopt the RIAA's tactics and sue porn pirates into oblivion.

At the same time, I'm also a musician, author and a programmer. I have more creative works under copyright than I care to count. I've recorded an album that I sell online etc. It's an odd position for me to be in because I happen to also be a pro-free-market libertarian who is pretty much entirely in agreement with Mr. Kinsell. I tried to argue to my peers that tube sites can be a wonderful promotional tool for adult pay sites and that the adult industry has an opportunity right now to work out mutually beneficial business relationships that will benefit the content producers as well as the affiliates who offer free content in order to make money via ads etc. but alas I don't think that I had a single supporter.

So this got me thinking. You use FOSS, you listen to Creative Commons music and you use Wikipedia to get your facts but I, as an adult webmaster, have never heard of any porn what-so-ever being produced and published under Creative Commons. So do you pay for all of your porn ? Are you celibate ? Are you ultra-orthodox monogamous (for lack of a better term and I realize it's a weak one so my apologies) to your significant other or are you just mistaken ?

Need a multiple Tiers for patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23355294)

I would propose a multiple tier patent system.
1) Reclassify all existing patents as tier 1 patents and attach a cost that scales with time while they are retained. (For example, every year the fee would double.)

2) Add a 2nd, new tier of patents. The 2nd tier of patents would automatically have a public license attached. If you want to use these patents for anything you are automatically licensed to do so after the first payment to the inventor, and while your are current on the payments. The cost of using these patents would be defined by the patent office, not to exceed 5% of purchase price of the item its incorporated into. Tier 2 would have a fixed fee amount, but and a fixed duration for the patent.

3) Tier 3 would be the Same as Tier 2, but the inventor may choose the licensing cost and the fee amount would scale each year.

Patent reform idea (2, Interesting)

Thought1 (1132989) | more than 6 years ago | (#23355464)

My idea for reforming patent law is simple: Make the maximum damage in a patent suit be 1% of the gross revenue of the product per patent found to be infringed, with a maximum of 10% of gross for all patents infringed. The change handles open source issues, limits insane business-killing damages, and will thus also limit licensing fees in practice, while still giving the creator compensation for their work. It should also cause a huge reduction in patent suits, due to the reduced damages limit. Another side effect will be that most companies will start licensing their products readily for the damage amount, rather than withholding licenses, as the only effect withholding a license will cause is additional money spent on attorneys and plenty of time in court to get their license fees. This should also lead to "clearing houses" for patent licensing, with easy searching and convenient reporting accounts for companies either looking for ideas to incorporate into their products, or to license any patents their invented product may infringe. It's also small enough and reasonable enough of a change that it's likely to gain support by a lot of people and businesses, and that it won't put lots of people out of work.

Who's with me? (:
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