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Patents as investment guarantee

"For corporations the patent system had really to function more as a public guarantee of returns on private investment than as an opportunity to make returns. The stronger the patent monopoly the more certainty there would be for these players. Whether or not stronger patents resulted in more innovation was another question. The main function of the patent system had to be investment guarantee." (Drahos, 2002)

Patents as protectionism

"States realized that patent systems could be used to cloak protectionist strategies. There were also reputational advantages for states to be seen to be sticking to intellectual property systems. One could attend the various revisions of the Paris and Berne conventions, participate in the cosmopolitan moral dialogue about the need to protect the fruits of authorial labor and inventive genius...knowing all the while that one's domestic intellectual property system was a handy protectionist weapon." (Ibid.)


"It was an accepted part of international commercial morality that states would design domestic intellectual property law to suit their own economic circumstances. States made sure that existing international intellectual property agreements gave them plenty of latitude to do so." (Ibid.)

Property rights and freedom

"Property rights confer authority over resources. When authority is granted to the few over resources on which many depend, the few gain power over the goals of the many. This has consequences for both political and economic freedoms with in a society." (Ibid.)

Patents on biological products

"Whether two molecules are (dis)similar is in the eye of the beholder. Scientists look to fool the receptor - but you really want to fool the patent office."

(Stanley Young 2008) (Assistant Director of Bioinformatics, National Institute of Statistical Sciences)