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Breakingviews: Viruses, patents and greed

Friday, May 31, 2013 - 03:23

May 31 - Jeffrey Goldfarb and Robert Cyran discuss how a new SARS-like affliction highlights the differences in the intellectual property fights in the pharmaceuticals and technology industries.

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Slightly odd topic for us this Friday there's a new SARS like virus that. Broke out in the Middle East. First found in Saudi Arabia. And its response to questions about patent wars and how they apply to viruses as opposed to the Smartphone wars where we've seen a lot of real tension. Trachsel threw a little bit about what's so that loses new deadly car so there's this fires that had forgotten Middle East and there's that and what happened was a doctor. He'd take a sample the virus and he sent it to hospital not really through proper channel not a proper channels and and the saudis are saying you should have gone to proper channels and that was only because they -- truck he's trying to find. Glory and intellectual property rights and the Dutch medical center with -- -- medical centers they purify the virus they sequence to it and then they put they paint applied for a patent and put the information on line accident and then also they've said you know if anyone wants their research inspires we'll send Wilson a copy of America have -- in the -- -- the saudis are saying. This is -- discovery the way this whole process been handled new treatments have been. You know -- at all and -- I would take those claims of the grain of salt because. That the person who actually made those claims he ran published a paper using information which the that the Dutch right. But that the main problem is that is this case of someone holding on the patent and in stopping research and said that there was a lot of I mean there's obviously a lot of money to be made you may yet on this company regularly aliens -- for instance -- -- -- worth about 85 billion native. On this entirely from developing treatments for HIV and hepatitis C I mean these are you know these this coming didn't exist before 1987 with -- I've been through a lot of money and the tension is really in the sense that there's obviously a public good here but there's also profit. Yen and how it how you reconcile with two and it seems to work out pretty well in Madison what they do is a day -- The patent certain information they find but then elect other researchers. God that's -- -- that'd -- the studios and production -- who actually discovered this virus. What they do is they've they've done this before viruses they discovered these things they put the information outline and then they give -- -- they'd give the -- all these researchers you can study it. And but then they think -- small because small percent of our club is yet for the work they've done yet why is it and so so why is there. I mean these -- these novel kind of approaches to this but yet in Smartphones. We see these just massive bottles in it it's almost like it's like almost the academic quote you know that the stakes are so high -- -- -- because that'd that'd. Rewards are so small hole. There -- are big financially but you know when it comes down to it. When people -- it comes and the people dying if it concentrates mine's Mary. So we're just a governor or take where I guess is that the hope that there's but maybe other people with the common good I mean that's I'm never gonna be quite. A public health scare but there are other -- -- is not quite as bad that -- thing is you know maybe it be nice if we had phones that were developed. Faster and cheaper people who actually use patents are widely. It near squabbling if everyone just is -- for themselves slows down every one overall and be nice if they could not obligated to cut down little bit agreed in the world -- exactly. We'll keep open and will be back with more -- views next week.

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Breakingviews: Viruses, patents and greed

Friday, May 31, 2013 - 03:23