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Old 03-13-2012, 07:09 PM   #16
speakingtohe
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I think we will be able to watch this principle in action as China develops intellectual property of its own which it wishes to protect.
An interesting statement. China has of course lots of intellectual material dating back thousands of years. Much has been published and I am sure much has not. Do they want to protect it, one assumes so, but maybe not.

In my experience, the Chinese intellect is second to none. But they are a different people with different motivations and instincts ( best word I can come up with) then most Western cultures.

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Old 03-13-2012, 08:43 PM   #17
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An interesting statement. China has of course lots of intellectual material dating back thousands of years. Much has been published and I am sure much has not. Do they want to protect it, one assumes so, but maybe not.

In my experience, the Chinese intellect is second to none. But they are a different people with different motivations and instincts ( best word I can come up with) then most Western cultures.

Helen
I agree with most of your comments. But the word "protect" in this context is directed mainly at legal patents and copyrights, which only potentially apply to more recent developments. As China develops and grows wealthier I expect to see increasing research and development taking place, and many new inventions. Also, of course, as its people grow more affluent the demand for entertainment can be expected to increase, which will likely result in thriving local entertainment industries. Some of this material will no doubt be in demand outside of China. There will come a point where China stands to benefit from intellectual property law and its application internationally. Quite simply, when it becomes beneficial to China to enforce intellectual property laws it will do so. This is no different to what happened in the United States. If this point never comes, then it likely will not.

China is already a nation which cannot be bullied, and it is only getting stronger. Whilst a friend of mine is predicting the collapse of the China boom in the not too distant future, it appears to me that it is more likely to continue, though this is not, of course, inevitable. I would add that I do not profess to be qualified or informed enough in this area to be confident of this prediction, and would welcome other views.
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:46 PM   #18
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As for poor nations respecting intellectual property, it doesn't make that much sense until they have enough of their own that needs protecting. Until 2005, India didn't respect any drug patents. Then they started doing so, which makes sense because India does have international drug companies. This is just taking a step back because of a special situation. But in general, with modernization it makes more sense to respect intellectual property.

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If the Indian government were to subsidize healthcare for its vast poor population, then it'd get criticized for having a "socialist healthcare system" . . .
Middle class people tend to avoid it, in part because the price of private healthcare is relatively low, but India does have socialized medicine.

I think Manmohan Singh has bigger worries than whether politicized Americans criticize his government either for being too socialist or for having too strong of a military. I guess this paragraph is too political, but at least I'm trying to be evenhanded
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:16 AM   #19
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I guess the Indian government would rather spend more money on maintaining their nuclear arsenal than supporting the development of new medicines.
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:48 AM   #20
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I guess the Indian government would rather spend more money on maintaining their nuclear arsenal than supporting the development of new medicines.
Yes, heaven forbid they try to deter two nuclear armed foes, who also happen to be their neighbours from targeting them.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:58 AM   #21
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The trouble is, there is a huge difference in the work involved in writing a novel, which might take on person 3 months, as opposed to developing new medicines, which takes hundreds of people years.

Research needs to be done and isn't cheap. Selling the drugs they come up with and are successful is how they fund research for new drugs.

Patents, which only last 14 years at most, are a more or less balance between driving innovation and helping the greater good. (Not like copyright, which now locks things up forever, basically)

So basically you have one thing that takes a lot of research and is protected for a limited time, vs something that is relatively easy to create and locked up forever. Not a great comparison, IMHO.

(And as to China, they've pretty much doomed themselves with their 1 child policy. Their future is essentially Japan's. The Japanese just stopped having children - most of the West has done so, but Japan took it to a whole new level. And in China's case, because people only only had 1 kid, but would selectively only have boys, the ratio there is pretty screwy)
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:08 AM   #22
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Yes, heaven forbid they try to deter two nuclear armed foes, who also happen to be their neighbours from targeting them.
India had the bomb 10 years before Pakistan, and they are the reason why Pakistan has it. And China is threatening a lot of countries, yes, but India isn't one of them.
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:15 AM   #23
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India had the bomb 10 years before Pakistan, and they are the reason why Pakistan has it. And China is threatening a lot of countries, yes, but India isn't one of them.
India has every reason to be threatened by China. India is one country China has actually attacked in the past. It is an extremely poor argument to make that a country shouldn't prioritize defence.
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:03 AM   #24
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India has every reason to be threatened by China. India is one country China has actually attacked in the past. It is an extremely poor argument to make that a country shouldn't prioritize defence.
Did I say that? I basically said that the nuclear option isn't a very useful one in India's case but rather a gigantic waste of money.

Besides, India and China have already settled their differences.
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:07 AM   #25
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The US entertainment industry decides how copyright and trademark law should be drafted and enforced with the ultimate goal of enriching not society but that self-same entertainment industry. They protect their interests at the expense, often, of the public domain.

The pharmacological industry has been scouring indigenous medicine and plant life across the developing world for decades looking for clumps of molecules to patent. Not to enrich society, but to enrich stock-holders.

If a developing nation decides that it's in their own best interests to abrogate foreign patents to save lives are we really supposed to feel sympathy for the drug companies who would rather see thousands suffer and die rather than voluntarily negotiate a more favourable deal?

Cynically, I do wonder if the attention on this particular drug has anything to do with an ageing middle class, including law makers and politicians, being more likely to develop cancers.
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:30 AM   #26
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Did I say that? I basically said that the nuclear option isn't a very useful one in India's case but rather a gigantic waste of money.
That is the exact point that is disputable. I'd say absolutely incorrect. India would be pretty foolish not consider defence a huge priority in the neighbourhood it is in, and given the history of the place.


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Besides, India and China have already settled their differences.
Not at all. China's attack in 1965 was completely unprovoked, and was the equivalent of a back-stabbing. There are far more differences between the two countries now than there ever was.
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:55 AM   #27
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That is the exact point that is disputable. I'd say absolutely incorrect. India would be pretty foolish not consider defence a huge priority in the neighbourhood it is in, and given the history of the place.




Not at all. China's attack in 1965 was completely unprovoked, and was the equivalent of a back-stabbing. There are far more differences between the two countries now than there ever was.
I know what happpened in the 1960s, but they signed a border treaty in 2005 and relations have been quite good since. Far from me to underestimate China's intentions for further expansion --- but the nuclear bomb is not a suitable weapon to stop them. Anyway, these days China likes to pick on its small and weak neighbors, they won't mess with India.

We are straying from the subject of the thread, let us just agree to disagree.
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:11 AM   #28
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I know what happpened in the 1960s, but they signed a border treaty in 2005 and relations have been quite good since. Far from me to underestimate China's intentions for further expansion --- but the nuclear bomb is not a suitable weapon to stop them. Anyway, these days China likes to pick on its small and weak neighbors, they won't mess with India.

We are straying from the subject of the thread, let us just agree to disagree.
India's nuclear arsenal was developed much before 2005, which in itself is a moot point because the treaty is not worth the paper it was signed on. Relations between the two countries are in a state of simmer, with only the outwardly appearance of calm. Border skirmishes are frequent, and China still claims the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh as it's own, not to mention the tacit support it provides to Pakistan in kashmir. Neither country wants a full blown conflict, and as far as China is concerned, this is a direct result of India developing the capabilites that neutralize China's military advantage. I do not want to be confrontational, but I have to say that you are downplaying the huge role India's nuclear arsenal has played in keeping China on a leash, so to speak, in its immediate neighbourhood. It is nowhere near being a simplistic case of "shouldn't have spent your money on nukes if you needed the meds".
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:15 AM   #29
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The pharmacological industry has been scouring indigenous medicine and plant life across the developing world for decades looking for clumps of molecules to patent. Not to enrich society, but to enrich stock-holders.
Y'know, I really wish this part was true. "Dividend" is still a four- letter word on par with the N-bomb in most economic circles.
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:45 PM   #30
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The trouble is, there is a huge difference in the work involved in writing a novel, which might take on person 3 months, as opposed to developing new medicines, which takes hundreds of people years.
The analogy I would make is that university biomedical researchers are like authors, and pharmaceutical companies are like publishers. India is like someone on this board who hardly ever reads a pirated book, but might in a rare special situation.

As for it taking hundreds of person-years to get US and EU governmental approvals, that's true. But how much value is there, to India, in that approval process? One can argue the point. Tests mandated in the West are not geared to how the drug may be used in India. Also, Western drug companies spend more more on marketing than R&D. They'll tell you that a lot of the marketing is for drug reps to help the docs use their products more effectively. Regardless of whether you buy this, I don't think many of those drug reps are visiting India.
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