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re 6 - I prefer logic to your "famoosity". 1) burden of proof is on the advocate of any policy change; in this case the good professor Rai has failed to provide evidence to support her claim, this is generally viewed as evidence of pre-conceived positions, aka ideology; 2) documentation was provided for the CONVERSE, which is that patents are not/not shown to deter university scientists in conducting their research. Here is the direct link to that discussion, based on well regarded NBER research:, in case the more general link challenged your attention span. 3) the proposition that patents have promoted R&D is a different statement altogether, and one I would support, but not at issue here. Thanks anyway for trying to make it all about me. Regards, SKFinston
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Musick - Thank you for this clarification. Again, this demonstrates an interesting indication of Prof. Rai's temperament or ideology on patents because empirically biotech patents are weaker, relatively, than patents for small molecules. This makes sense when you consider other barriers to entry that the industry has enjoyed including difficulty of manufacturing processes (where the process is the product), regulatory protection, etc. And fundamentally, small companies that act as R&D pipelines for biopharmaceuticals don't have the deep pockets of a larger company to invest as much in patent drafting, either in terms of breadth or in the number of jurisdictions (ie through PCT filings). This is a very real issue for the folks who have to bring these drugs to market. Regards, Susan
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Professor Rai is on record as opposing expansive patent rights for publicly funded biotech research. See Conclusions from an article written with Prof. Rebecca Eisenberg (U-M), another "industry expert" who has never worked at a pharma or biotech company: "As proprietary claims have proliferated in biomedical research, the costs that patents impose on R&D have become more salient. At the same time, patents on biomedical research discoveries plainly offer important social benefits in the form of motivating further private investment in product development. The presumption that patent incentives are necessary to promote research and development has less force for inventions arising from government-sponsored research than for inventions arising from purely private funding. It is therefore important that decisions about patenting the results of government-sponsored research be made on the basis of a careful balancing of the costs and benefits that they entail for future R&D. Current law entrusts these decisions to the unbridled discretion of institutions, such as universities, that receive federal funds, but these institutions are inadequately motivated to take the social costs of their proprietary claims into account in deciding what to patent. A more sensible approach would give research sponsors, such as NIH, [*pg 314] more authority to restrict patenting of publicly-funded research when such patenting is more likely to retard than promote subsequent R&D." As Prof. Rai has not provided any compelling evidence that this patenting actually has "retarded" subsequent R&D, this is at least some evidence of an ideological position, not a pragmatic weighing of the available data and facts. In fact, reliable data from a paper presented at a recent NBER seminar showed the converse, e.g. that academics do not actually closely follow patent filings and so are not chilled in their research by patent status. A much more important factor is availability of proprietary research materials, ie immuno-compromised (or 'nude' rats), and/or other expensive or specialized equipment or resources needed to advance research in a particular field. For more details and documentation, see the BayhDole25 website at Regards, Susan K Finston
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