[extropy-chat] Patents

Adrian Tymes wingcat at pacbell.net
Thu Apr 15 19:11:41 UTC 2004

--- Samantha Atkins <samantha at objectent.com> wrote:
> On Apr 14, 2004, at 7:50 PM, Harvey Newstrom wrote:
> > Agreed.  The patenting of information by
> corporations so that nobody 
> > else can use it is a big problem for scientific
> research right now.  
> > Most science is being done in a way that it cannot
> be shared or 
> > externally replicated.
> This jumped out at me.  Has patent law descended to
> the point that 
> information is patentable?  Under what conditions if
> so?

Trade "secrets" (oftentimes reverse engineerable,
except in countries with laws prohibiting that) add
to the problem...but, yeah, certain information is and
has always been patentable.  For instance, "how do I
manufacture X" (if you can't make it yourself, and no
one will give or sell it to you, you can't run
experiments on it) or "how does X do Y" (especially
processes that nature didn't invent first).  The
problem is, a lot of the useful science (borderline
engineering) these days concerns just those topics:
exactly how do you make a telomere-extending drug, and
how does it work?

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