ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

American Patent Law Desperately Needs Major Revisions.

Updated on May 4, 2013

American Patent Law Is Outdated And Does Not Serve The Domestic Industrial Economy Efficiently Any More. It Needs To Be Updated To Keep The Patent Process On

American patent law is broken. At the moment companies can copyright computer code or cartoon characters practically for immortality. Coka-Cola can copyright it's signature color red and Disney can extend Mickey Mouse's copyright ad infinitum with Congressional approval but when it comes to new patent medicines there is no room for extending patents to protect rights and drug companies vastly over charge customers for their most innovative new products to attempt to retrieve the very high costs of brining new drugs to market. Pharmaceutical companies are a relatively big part of the American Industrial landscape and important to the economy but are treated like the enemy of the state by congress.

Most people seeing the problem of people with rare diseases being charged$10,000-$200,000 a year for a new prescription drug as unethical and immoral as if companies should just go out and borrow capital and give it away when the government which can easily tax everyone and compensate them like they do defense contractors and companies that manufacture over priced public transportation buses and light rail systems. Instead ,drug companies are treated like villains who gauge the public and should make an effort to operate as public service companies or heroic altruists. When it comes to effective new drugs there are other risks drug companies have for charging as much as they do that that includes possible legal liability for adverse effects. There is a solution and it much simpler than the experts in the field realize. Patent protection is not long enough when it costs a billion dollars to develop new drugs that have limited populations that may require treatment with those drugs. The simple solution is of course to have congress revise patent laws to allow patents to last a lot longer. Short patents can benefit society by allowing recombinant versions of new inventions and that really is something that needs revision too where congress allows longer patents in exchange for patent owners meeting trade off criteria of an agreed to lower price and a set standard means of charging certain kinds of patent infringements with a set table of payments in to the patent owner or sharing revenues if it is a recombinant version of an original patent/ invention. It makes sense to have some of the primary industries in the USA , and abroad when they apply for patents here, to have patents that can last 50 years instead of just around 20.

Congress can set up a patent review commission that would negotiate longer patents on a case by case basis and save companies from having to deal with infringement lawsuits by setting rates for royalties in such cases in tables as part of the negotiations. No patent holder would have to apply to have their patent extended . It would be completely voluntary and of course the government would have the right to solicit deals. It is all about trade offs. Over and over again we see drugs go generic with virtually no economic benefit there after to the original patent holder. It may benefit society but does not necessarily benefit the economy as much as patents do because the generics erode the viability of exporting US products which helps give us the dreaded imbalances of trade so many congressmen and senators fuss about. Patent extension not just in medical pharmaceuticals but in virtually everything else would protect so called intellectual property with the same vigor the copyright owners have. Why patents are don't get the same respect copyrights do is difficult to understand.

It is important that patents get more respect and that comes from the US congress revising the law and allowing much longer extensions of time to own patents and provides a means after say the original patent period to allow automatic royalty sharing with patent infringers. The government might not be as concerned with patents on inventions that are not about medical necessity so unfortunately there could be a lot of politics involved in the patent extension process. To remove this problem patent owners would be selected or could apply but would have to apply with in x number of years of getting the patent to open a case and once opened could be re-opened anytime up until perhaps 5 years before expiration in an attempt to benefit consumers for the longest period of time possible and because patent holders can face competition from similar products the longer their successful products are on the market.

At the moment the US supreme court is deciding if human genes can be patented by companies that have tests to find genes that have medical health importance to individuals. The problem is once the gene is identified anyone in the biotechnology business can test for it. That's not fair to those attempting to file patents that serves their business in making such tests available at a profit. If there is an incentive and contest to find the genetic markers of importance and test for them it is more in societies interest to have the patent protection in place . A patent commission could simply allow for royalty sharing in uses of the gene in other uses that are not the same as patent holding companies. Extension of those patents is the better solution in the trade off for everyone involved than to cut the patents out completely or cut them short. If that sounds unfair just imagine if the human genome project people got a copyright on the genome instead of making it mostly all available to the public. It probably could have been . Extending patents will help the economy more than it will harm it. A government patent extension commission would serve better than just making patents longer because tradeoffs by the patent holders would be required and gives everyone involved in the negotiations freedom to enter in to a contract. Government does not automatically extend a patent unless the company proves in advance that the extension for the patent results in substantially lower prices. Each company and patent holder can calculate how an extension would benefit it. If an impasse is reached and no negotiated solution or deal is found then that is the way it goes and the patent expires sooner. If a company develops a drug that helps less than 5000 people a year and it cost it a billion dollars to test and deliver the drug to market well then the patent commission should be able to extend the patent to 100 years if necessarily so the company can make back it's loses without having to gauge. That new rate would be set. Maybe still expensive but not a corporate give away.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)