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Monday, July 28, 2008

IP limits yield cheap BC

I went to the pharmacy to pick up my birth control yesterday, and was ecstatic to find out that Yasmin birth control now comes in a generic brand called Ocella.

Cost of Yasmin = $30-35 / month ($360-420 / year)
Cost of Ocella = $5 / month ($60 / year)

So basically I was previously paying at least a dollar a day just so I could have sex on occasion without the risk of waking up in a pregnant condition. Now my pregnancy-free sex tax only amounts to $0.17 per day. HUZZAH!

This is perfect timing because I was recently scouring the internet in an attempt to figure out if there was a way to get cheap foreign Yasmin shipped into the U.S. without it being confiscated and without me being arrested. Now I don't have to worry about it.

This, my friends, is why time limits on intellectual property rights are oh-so important. A pharmaceutical company gets roughly 20 years worth of exclusive rights to its patented formula, during which time it can charge whatever greedy fee it desires, since it controls the market. But once those 20 years are up, the formula enters the public domain and market competition drives prices back down to a reasonable level.

Now if we could only get the time limits on Copyright back to a reasonable level. Currently copyright protection is granted for 75-90 years after the death of the creator. That's a whole freaking lifetime after the life of the creator before the work enters the public domain! So greedy!

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6 comments:

Trovan said...

Benjamin Franklin didn't patent and of his inventions (electricity, bifocals, lightning rod...) because he believed that people should do things for the good of all, not just for their own gain.

There is a bit of a trade-off though. Profit motive has driven invention further than altruism.

And congrats on the low-cost risk-free nookie.

Claire said...

I'm currently on the fence regarding IP laws...I share Franklin's ideals (but, thankfully, not his syphilis), but I understand the necessity of protecting one's invention/idea/knock-off. That said, I totally agree that we need to knock the time limits WAY down. I mean, come on - once you're dead, what do you care, as long as it helps people or entertains them or ruins their lives with its addictive properties (drug kingpins and Doritos manufacturers only)? If your genes are so great, I'm sure your kids will be genius inventors too, and create their own cash-cow fad-stravaganza.

Also, I agree that altruism will never be the carrot that shiny doubloons are...unless, of course, everyone buys and reads my Secrets of Happy Millionaires™, a fifteen-part set on 72 DVD-ROMs. Order now!

Sra said...

I agree that there is a middle ground in IP. Money does provide incentive to further invention, and that is valuable, but there has to be a limit.

Patent limits are pretty fair. You get 20 years from the time you file a patent application. Now, it usually takes about 4 or 5 years to get a patent, but you can still assert your rights from the time you filed. So if you are suing someone for infringement, or if you are working out a license with someone who is selling something that falls under your rights, you can include sales from as far back as the filing date of your invention.

Copyright used to have a similar limit -- something like 15 years. I don't know much about the history of copyright yet, so I don't know when or why the limit starting increasing. But I'll look into it.

Sra said...

I agree that there is a middle ground in IP. Money does provide incentive to further invention, and that is valuable, but there has to be a limit.

Patent limits are pretty fair. You get 20 years from the time you file a patent application. Now, it usually takes about 4 or 5 years to get a patent, but you can still assert your rights from the time you filed. So if you are suing someone for infringement, or if you are working out a license with someone who is selling something that falls under your rights, you can include sales from as far back as the filing date of your invention.

Copyright used to have a similar limit -- something like 15 years. I don't know much about the history of copyright yet, so I don't know when or why the limit starting increasing. But I'll look into it.

Claire said...

I'm currently on the fence regarding IP laws...I share Franklin's ideals (but, thankfully, not his syphilis), but I understand the necessity of protecting one's invention/idea/knock-off. That said, I totally agree that we need to knock the time limits WAY down. I mean, come on - once you're dead, what do you care, as long as it helps people or entertains them or ruins their lives with its addictive properties (drug kingpins and Doritos manufacturers only)? If your genes are so great, I'm sure your kids will be genius inventors too, and create their own cash-cow fad-stravaganza.

Also, I agree that altruism will never be the carrot that shiny doubloons are...unless, of course, everyone buys and reads my Secrets of Happy Millionaires™, a fifteen-part set on 72 DVD-ROMs. Order now!

Trovan said...

Benjamin Franklin didn't patent and of his inventions (electricity, bifocals, lightning rod...) because he believed that people should do things for the good of all, not just for their own gain.

There is a bit of a trade-off though. Profit motive has driven invention further than altruism.

And congrats on the low-cost risk-free nookie.

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