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December 12, 2000
2:30 PM   Subscribe

The ethical problems of biotech patents have been noted here before. Now the New Scientist reports that those patent applications are on the brink of crippling the world wide patent system to the detriment of real inventions and to the disadvantage of poorer countries (and what is the PC term for those now that 'third world' and even 'less developed countries' have fallen out of favor?)
posted by norm (6 comments total)

 
That would be "the global south," Norm.

It's always struck me as somewhat odd that the amount of ranting about stupid patents -- ranting that's entirely justified, I feel -- hasn't developed into more of a movement to increase funding for patent offices; if patent examiners were paid more, it would attract more of them (and fewer would defect to higher-paying jobs in the private sector) and they could specialize more. But as it is, you're asking bureaucrats -- admittedly, they're smart bureaucrats -- to keep up with the latest advances in technology, while "business method" patents, software patents, seemingly-obvious hacks, specious nonsense, and a thousand other things overwhelm them.

BountyQuest is a fine idea, but isn't this one of the few situations in which throwing money at the problem really is all that's required to make it go away?
posted by snarkout at 3:15 PM on December 12, 2000


what is the PC term for those now that 'third world'

errr... wealth-challenged?
posted by lagado at 3:29 PM on December 12, 2000


developing
posted by rodii at 3:35 PM on December 12, 2000


Yeah, developing or two-thirds world.
posted by ChrisTN at 3:59 PM on December 12, 2000


Central America is north of the Equator, as is the Middle East, half of Africa, and almost all of Asia. "South" seems misleading. And developing implies they actually are developing. While in debate we called them LDCs for "Less Developed Countries" but then that fell out of favor and I've not known what to say since.
posted by norm at 5:12 PM on December 12, 2000


Australia is a "northern", "western" country, go figure.
posted by lagado at 6:41 PM on December 12, 2000


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