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[News] Wikileaks Shows Patents That Can Lead to Death

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Open Source emergency dispatch OpenISES destroyed by patent threat, 2009

,----[ Quote ]
| 2. This document contains a simple, guided system for processing calls for 
| emergency aid. It was created free of charge and distributed with the 
| OpenISES system but was removed from distribution and destroyed due to a 
| patent threat from Priority Dispatch Corporation. This document has the 
| potential to help save lives in areas that cannot afford proprietary 
| emergency response scripts     
| 3. Emergency dispatch offices in areas unable to afford proprietary scripts 
| (especially overseas where U.S. Patent Law does not apply), developers and 
| emergency response personnel wishing to continue the project, and bloggers 
| and journalists wishing to document some of the unsavory ways companies 
| utilize the patent system.     



How Sick Are Patents? Ask Indonesia

,----[ Quote ]
| Got that? Indonesia releases the sequences, and the US CDC does indeed patent
| that information, a situation which could then force Indonesia to pay for
| vaccines based on its own sequence data to protect its citizens. This
| probably means that fewer vaccines will be bought, more people will die, more
| mutations in the flu virus, and more deaths globally. So how, exactly, is
| this particular intellectual monopoly good for the world?


Bringing Medical Records to Developing Countries--OSS Style

,----[ Quote ]
| In conjunction with OpenMRS, Pentaho is integrating its open source business
| intelligence suite with OpenMRS' central medical records system focused on
| developing countries. "Pentaho brings proven open source tools and the right
| expertise to help reduce the amount of redundant efforts in collecting,
| managing, and analyzing health services information," said Paul Biondich M.D.
| and IT Project Lead for OpenMRS.


Sick Idea: Using Patents to Kill People

,----[ Quote ]
| Poignant? It's basic human decency. Imagine being unable to use a life-saving
| technique on a patient simply because it was "patented", and the licensing
| fees were exorbitant. Imagine, indeed, the situation in developing countries
| that can't even afford medical equipment, much less absurd, intellectual
| monopolies.    
| There's a reason we don't have patents on such things: they represent basic
| human knowledge of the kind whose invention and transmission down the
| generations lies at the heart of our civilisation and humanity. The day we
| start charging for this kind of thing is the day we as a race are in deep,
| deep trouble.    


Surgical exceptions to patentability -- clash of principles, few EPO examiners

,----[ Quote ]
| Of all the exclusions from patentability, most poignant is the bar on
| patenting methods of surgery, therapy or diagnosis practised on the human or
| animal body. While it seeks to release medical practitioners from the
| shackles of commercial monopoly and legal liability when choosing how best to
| treat their patients, many argue that its true effect is to stifle the
| creation, publication and promulgation of new techniques that save lives or
| improve their quality.      



Ethics @ Work: Are property rights in ideas unethical?

,----[ Quote ]
| Business ethics usually have little to do with ethics. In most practical
| cases the ethical value is agreed upon, and the ethics professional is
| charged with making sure they are reflected in practice. However,
| occasionally we are privileged to encounter a truly innovative ethical
| doctrine that seeks to challenge existing paradigms. A fascinating example is
| the "free content" movement, often identified with programming pioneer
| Richard Stallman who leads the related "free software movement."      

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