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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Intellectual property rights,Patents -Positive paradigm shifts in the corporate world a boon to humanity.

Positive paradigm shifts in the corporate world a boon to humanity.
Positive paradigm shifts in the corporate world positively impacts immensely the quality of both the environment and human life.
This has been visible in the past four decades at least in two areas mentioned below.
1] Modern concept of corporate social responsibility either done voluntarily or enforced by the state is a good thing and that is being followed mostly by big MNCs and all other big and responsible business enterprises.
2] Similarly there is a mounting awareness as well as activist induced concerns towards the welfare of the environment.
Slowly but steadily on these two areas there have been a marked improvements in the past three decades compared to total lack of concern for such things prior to that.
In fact in many parts of the world where the government failed it was the responsible and generous sponsorship of corporate houses that have helped many human beings get basic health care, education and other fundamental human needs.
But having deservingly praised the corporate world for its positive contribution in these areas, there is a major unfulfilled area of concern and if only the collective wisdom of the corporate world can pledge to get the complaints in that area too addressed positively in the interests of human race at large then history will remember such corporate houses and human race would be always grateful for such activities.
I shall come to what it is but before that I would like to make an appeal that this has to be addressed purely in the interests of human race at large and not commercial considerations or legal rights and wrongs. This can be debated and as history has shown many instances where the common good of human race prevailed over all other considerations be it the consideration of interests of a specific nation or a specific profession or specific ideology etc
What I am talking about is doing away with Intellectual Property rights and its off springs Patents, Copy Rights, Trade mark, Trade Secrets to name a few.
Fortunately the UN day of Intellectual Property Rights too falls in the near future on 26th April 2013. So we can start the debate. Please try to go through the entire article for the sake of Humanity.
If this happens then probably we would be rewriting the history of world economy.
I am not a lawyer. What I am going to write may sound high flown philosophical and idealistic but practically not viable. However, that does not stop me from putting forth certain questions that have been bothering me for a very long time regarding the very legitimacy of Intellectual Property Rights and its off springs Patents, Copy Rights, Trade mark, Trade Secrets to name a few.
In evolutionary biology we find that all creations have shed the unnecessary parts or shrunk them for better survival; in evolutionary sociology too human race has shed too many models of social groups and narrowed down on a few that would be easier for global interaction; in languages too, from a few thousands languages that existed humanity has reduced the number to just a few hundred languages. Similarly there is nothing wrong in giving up in the interest of evolution of human race, of course against the interest of a few lawyers who mostly benefit from such laws, we can think of doing away with this whole set of laws  connected with Intellectual property.
What is Intellectual property (IP)? It basically refers to creations of the mind. Who is the owner of anyone’s mind? Mind [ a difficult term to define] like everything else in life is a product of evolution and in its course of evolution it is inevitably interdependent and  interacts with all other minds either obviously or otherwise, with itself at varying levels of potency based on  different levels of perceiving and performing capacities at different times. Besides whether we believe in it or not, it is always aided by a universal mind which works through every individual mind at various frequencies depending upon various factors like readiness, attitude, and priorities for the mind space at a specific time etc within which we can include a whole gamut of things which impact the mind like culture, economic situation, social set up, education etc.
Even granting that we are able to satisfactorily come up with legally sustainable definitions to carry on with this one or two century old legal entity to justify due acknowledgment and adequate commercial compensation to creators of original discoveries, designs, inventions, ideas etc and that patents connect invention to development and manufacturing etc. Still, these definitions leave out of their gambit all the inventions, ideas, discoveries and the creators of those inventions etc prior to these laws coming into play. They cannot forget the fact that even without these patents and trademarks developments and manufacturing were taking place.
Even after the advent of this backward laws came into force many sane discoverers and inventors have opted for not patenting like Madame Curie, one the greatest scientist and the inventor of polio vaccine Jonas Salk to name a few.
However convinced I was about the negative impact of Intellectual Property, I still decided to gather enough material from sources with not only and not necessarily similar thinking individuals but legal professionals with integrity and others with interest of human race as a priority to support and substantiate my side of the argument. All the more now, after recession and intense competition in an age of knowledge enhancement and execution, when commercial enterprises are unnecessarily wasting too much of money, man power etc in unwanted patent litigations which profit only the select group of lawyers and the media which treats these litigation battles as glamour world gossips to be gobbled up by the gullible public.

As the great scholar and my favourite author  Bertrand Russell writes in POLITICAL IDEALS (1917)CHAPTER IVINDIVIDUAL LIBERTY AND PUBLIC CONTROL

The creative impulses, unlike those that are possessive, are directed to ends in which one man’s gain are not another man’s loss. The man who makes a scientific discovery or writes a poem is enriching others at the same time as himself. Any increase in knowledge or good-will is a gain to all who are affected by it, not only to the actual possessor. Those who feel the joy of life are a happiness to others as well as to themselves. Force cannot create such things, though it can destroy them; no principle of distributive justice applies to them, since the gain of each is the gain of all. For these reasons, the creative part of a man’s activity ought to be as free as possible from all public control, in order that it may remain spontaneous and full of vigor. The only function of the state in regard to this part of the individual life should be to do everything possible toward providing outlets and opportunities”.

There are of course many links on the net where we can find excellent articles and materials about the irrelevance of the Intellectual Property laws and their off springs.

I am giving below some ten which I felt dwelt on the subject with correct perspective and reflect similar sentiments as indicated above.

Wherein Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis write and it’s titled “The Case Against Patents” and argues that our patent laws now do more to hinder innovation than to promote it. And, since there’s no way to salvage the system, the United States would be better off scrapping patents entirely.
While eliminating software patents would be the best solution, changing the law takes a long time and is uncertain to succeed. I've been trying to puzzle out how the software industry might rescue itself from immolation through litigation and came up with the following proposal....
3] From Patents Are An Economic Absurdity

James Watson, Discoverer of DNA: Patenting Human Genes Is “Lunacy”

By Sandra S. Park, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 12:11pm
The Case Against Patenting Life-John Ikerd


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