Legal monopolies are awesome if you’re the business owner profiting from it. Basically the big pharmaceutical companies have figured out how to game the system. They can use patent law to effectively set up legal monopolies. And you thought it was all about sitting in claw foot tubs on the beach and four hour erections! Oh no, it’s actually about billions of dollars and keeping the competition down.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R – Virginia) has introduced a bill called the Innovations Act. It is designed to cut down on the number of frivolous patent lawsuits that do nothing except run up the price of the product and harm the consumer. However, enter Big Pharma! They don’t like that so much. They kind of like things the way they are. This bill also makes it harder to game the patent system. Many companies have figured out that if they play it right they can get even more than the allotted 20 years of patent protection. This bill will make that more difficult.
The fact is that once the Big Pharma companies got wind of this bill they called out the dogs! Four companies. Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Amgen, and Novartis have each spent more than $4 Billion in 2015 on lobbyists to push their special interest. I don’t care where you come from…$4 Billion is a lot of jack! Then take it times four companies and you have the GDP for some small country somewhere.
With all those resources in play, they managed to get a provision added to the bill that would significantly scale back the process used to challenge illegitimate patents. They like this because big Pharma uses illegitimate patents to clog up the system. They file patent after patent on a unique product they’ve created. This is one way to extend the patent protection past the 20 year window. It also is a way to keep other companies from challenging them. With multiple patents, many of them illegitimate, it is much more difficult and costly to come against the patent holding company. The provision they are after protects this game of deceit. Essentially taking a bill designed to cut down on lawsuits in our country and use it to protect their corrupt, monopolistic patent abuse.
I commend the conservative initiative and Representative Goodlatte’s desire to protect patent holders from lawsuit. Those pesky litigious actions cost the country millions and shut down the desire to create all the cool new stuff we all secretly want. Americans have always been problem solvers. We create new things all the time. It never ends. It’s kind of who we are. Any type of government intrusion only begins to erode the American Dream of owning your own business. It begins to shut down that creative spirit. It stops new innovations that we as Americans have taken for granted.
The truth is I’m glad they invent cool new drugs that heal us. I don’t even grudge Big Pharma making billions. Go for it! It is America. However, spending BILLIONS to manipulate the system and destroy their competition by setting up little Government sanctioned monopolies is not okay. Competition is the American way. If you can’t make it against a little competition, you are out! No trophy just for playing. Turn in your key before you go. That’s the way it goes. Build a better mousetrap!
Sadly, corruption and abuse of power are the American way as well. Big Pharma’s using the government to stack the deck in their favor is evil. The kind of evil our ancestors fought wars over. Attaching this kind of minutia to an otherwise conservative bill that helps the average American by limiting out of control lawsuits and keeping costs down is simply wrong. This is the kind of thing that leaves the average citizen jaded. I mean really none of us would even have known about this other than the new media doing its job and bringing obscure stuff like this to the light. If four major players spent $4 Billion each that might be enough to tempt a few good congressmen or senators to maybe just go along and vote yes? Nobody is really watching anyway. A bill like this gets no press. Really, a patent rights bill? Sounds like a riveting story with a great headline. If people knew that it was yet another example of the systemic sickness found in our government they might actually care.
It’s time our congressmen stand up to this kind of junk. Don’t get sucked in. Don’t believe all the hype. Have you heard the horrible side effects that come along with getting into bed with Big Pharma? Also, those claw foot tubs sitting on the beach with a middle-aged couple gazing lovingly at one another…how do they keep the water warm? How do they romantically get the water in the tubs? How do they get them out to the remote location? Those tubs are really heavy. So many questions.
Congress – Don’t cave into the special interest. Stand firm, have a spine and do what’s right. A bill to cut down on lawsuits without bailing out the big pharma’s of the world would be great.