Misinforming people about patents

Nov 03, 2014
miltons ip

We face a crisis of ignorance about intellectual property – seriously, more people know less about IP than any other core business discipline. IP is not the be-all or end-all of business. Lots of other disciplines like marketing, sales, finance and HR are more important for more businesses than IP. But the knowledge gap in C-suites between what folks do know and what they should know is greater, in my view, for IP than any other core discipline of business and that is why I have devoted so much energy to trying to explain the basics of IP to people.

That is why it drives me bonkers when people who should know much better say stupid, deliberately misleading things about patents in order to lobby for their pet position. In this rant, I talk about some recent foolishness from the new CEO of AbbVie Canada, who happens to be a Frenchman. I am sure that his PR firm was delighted to get his speech featured in the Globe & Mail, but shame on him and shame on the Globe for mindlessly repeating drivel. Put charitably, if this came out of a four-legged animal, it would be fertilizer. Here is the article in the Globe..

Here is the key point: patent law makes it possible to ‘invent anywhere, and patent everywhere’. Whatever pharma companies may think about the scope of Canadian patent protection, it has no logical nexus to whether or not they conduct pharma R&D in Canada: none.

Sadly, there are many more examples of this self-interested misinformation about IP. In Rants to follow, I will try to highlight some choice idiocy from Google and others.