The Damage Done by Patents

Via the Paramus Post, an examination of some of the damage done by patents. "Along similar lines, San Francisco-based Athena Neurosciences holds the patent on a gene associated with Alzheimer's disease. Athena will not allow any laboratory except its own to screen for mutations in that gene. ... Doctors and laboratories across the country face a lawsuit if they try to determine whether one of their patients carries this genetic predisposition to Alzheimer's disease, even though testing can easily be done by anyone who knows the sequence of the gene, without using any product or device made by the patent holder." So one company patent holder blocks or exacts a toll on any and all work the rest of the world might do to improve this technology. The bottom line: restrict competition and you restrict progress. Industries without patents are far more dynamic than those stifled by them, in which short-termists profit at the expense of everyone else.



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