Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Ebola & IP, Adwords decision

It did not take long for an article to appear seeking to blame intellectual property for perpetuating the Ebola crisis affecting West Africa, and here it is: "Ebola Vaccine Delay May Be Due To An Intellectual Property Dispute":

"For the past six weeks, about 800 to 1,000 doses of an experimental ebola vaccine have been sitting in a Canadian laboratory instead of being dispensed to West Africa. The delay, it would now appear, may be on account of an intellectual property spat."

The article has attracted no less than 3000 FB likes, 73 comments and 15 top of class stars! But what unfortunate rubbish it is.

The piece stirs and seeks to capitalise (rather successfully it would seem) on two emotive issues (IP & the lack of access to drugs & the ebola outbreak) without a proper analysis of whether in fact there is a relationship between the two. It simply alludes to a connection and lets the groundswell begin on what the author suggests is "epidemic profiteering [caused by the patent system]" but with no real support for his view.

Fortunately not all commentators have agreed with him. In fact Catherine Saez of the excellent IP-Watch has penned several more balanced articles. Some of these were published well before Dvorsky's opportunistic outcry, which rather strangely does not mention them. Unfortunately, Catherine's articles do not appear to have reached as many as Dvorsky's piece has, attracting just a handful of comments but such is life on an IP blog. Hopefully, this post gives them just a little more air.

And, to a completely different IP issue, news just in is that those who have been following the Adwords dispute in RSA can expect to receive a judgement summary tomorrow.


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