Sunday, August 11, 2019

Molly Ratty Finally Writes A Post On Drug Patents, And It's Fantastic

Molly Ratty (@molratty on Twitter) has an excellent, excellent post on the Popehat blog about patent reform as applied to pharmaceuticals. Excerpt:
Since Hatch-Waxman passed, we’ve experienced an explosion in the number and size of generic drug companies and the availability of generic drugs. But there’s a problem if generic drugs cannot get to market because of patents, particularly in the case of patents that were never worthy of being granted in the first place. That’s what we have now. We have a patent system skewed toward granting and upholding patents that never should have issued. What’s worse, branded companies erect thickets of multiple patents on a single product that have the effect of extended the patent life cycle of the product. (Any readers in the tech industry should be familiar with the problem of “patent trolls”.)
The New York Times ran a dreadful op-ed full of horrible ideas, including patent seizure (why not just limit patent eligibility, and rescind patents no longer adhering to the new standard?), price fixing, and incredibly, using the FTC to undo what the USPTO has done. The whole thing is a stew of basic failures to understand how significant parts of the government actually work.

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