• KEI letter to US DOJ, opposing IBM acquisition of Red Hat | Knowledge Ecology International

    Très intéressant sur les relations Logiciels libres et grandes entreprises. Utiliser le LL comme cheval de Troie pour renforcer des services spécifiques... brisant la confiance et la neutralité du libre. L’inverse de ce que décrit « Des routes et des ponts » sur les partenariats communs-privés.

    The following was sent to US DOJ today, to express KEI’s opposition to the IBM acquisition of Red Hat.

    13 March 2019

    Bindi R. Bhagat
    U.S. Department of Justice
    Antitrust Division
    Technology and Financial Services Section

    Dear Ms. Bhagat,

    Thank you for taking our call today, regarding the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) effort to buy Red Hat, Inc. As discussed, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) is opposed to IBM acquiring Red Hat.

    At present, Red Hat controls the most important Linux distribution for Internet and cloud servers.

    The important metrics in this area include, but are not limited to, the share of Internet traffic supported by Red Hat server installations, as well as the revenue that Red Hat realizes for maintaining and customizing Linux server software, compared to other Linux server distribution companies or organizations.

    Red Hat is an important contributor to the Linux kernel and to the code that is used in many elements in the broader GNU/Linux platform of free software programs that are used by server platforms, including the many non-Red Hat Linux distributions.

    IBM is proposing to pay a large premium for Red Hat. Prior to the acquisition offer, Red Hat was valued at approximately $20.5 billion. IBM is proposing to buy Red Hat for $34 billion, a premium of about 67 percent of the previous value.

    IBM could have invested in Red Hat stock at a much lower price, if the objective was simply to share in the expected profits of Red Hat, continuing its current business offerings. What IBM gains from its acquisition of Red Hat is control, and the ability to shape the direction of its software development efforts, to favor IBM’s own cloud services.

    Today Red Hat is considered a neutral partner for many companies offering or developing cloud services. If IBM acquires Red Hat, the trust in Red Hat will be eroded, and IBM will have powerful incentives to influence Red Hat’s software development efforts towards providing special functionality and benefits to IBM and the IBM cloud services, and even to degrade the functionality of services to companies that compete directly with IBM, or fail to buy services from IBM.

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) should consider the impact of the merger on the incentives that Red Hat will have, post merger, to undermine competition and degrade the benefits of a more level playing field, for this critical Internet resource and platform.

    Our concerns are shaped to some degree by the detrimental decision made by the DOJ in approving the Oracle acquisition of Sun Computer’s open source assets, including the MySQL database program. At the time, DOJ viewed the MySQL software as unimportant, because the revenues were small, relative to other database programs. Most users of MySQL did not pay any fees to use the software. Our organization, KEI, used MySQL to support our Joomla, Drupal and WordPress content management systems, and did not pay fees to Sun Computer, along with countless other businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals who also used the free version. We were concerned, at the time, that Oracle would degrade and slow the development of the capacities of MySQL, in order to protect Oracle’s very expensive proprietary database services. We believe that our concerns about Oracle have unfortunately been borne out, by the blunting of the rate of innovation and ambition for MySQL, the fact that Open Office (another program gained in the acquisition of Sun Computers) is no longer an important free software client for office productivity, and Oracle’s aggressive litigation over copyright and patent claims related to Java.

    The DOJ might consider conditions on the merger that would provide greater assurances that Red Hat will not be used to create an unlevel playing field that favors IBM’s own cloud services. We are willing to suggest such conditions, relating to governance, licensing and other issues. For example, the DOJ could require IBM to show how it will ensure the continued policy of ensuring that Red Hat’s patents are only used for defensive purposes. Conditions on this issue should be durable, and avoid predictable loopholes.

    IBM’s competitors and existing customers of Red Hat will have more informed suggestions as to specific conditions that would protect IBM’s competitors. But overall, the best decision would be to reject the merger, on the grounds that is is fundamentally designed to create an unlevel playing field.

    Red Hat is not just another technology company. It is one of the main reasons the Internet functions as well as it does.


    James Love
    Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)
    1621 Connecticut Avenue, Suite 500
    Washington, DC 20009

    #Communs #Logiciels_libres #Red_Hat #IBM

  • Broad Institute prevails in heated dispute over CRISPR patents

    The US patent office ruled on Wednesday that hotly disputed patents on the revolutionary genome-editing technology CRISPR-Cas9 belong to the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, dealing a blow to the University of California in its efforts to overturn those patents.

    In a one-sentence judgment by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, the three judges decided that there is “no interference in fact.” In other words, key CRISPR patents awarded to the Broad beginning in 2014 are sufficiently different from patents applied for by UC that they can stand. (…)

    The ruling means that, in the eyes of the patent office, breakthrough work by UC biochemist Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues on CRISPR — an ancient bacterial immune system that they repurposed to easily and precisely edit DNA — was not so all-encompassing as to make later advances “obvious.” That is at odds with how much of the science world has viewed their work. Doudna and her chief collaborator, Emmanuelle Charpentier, won the $3 million Breakthrough Prize in the life sciences in 2015, the $500,000 Gruber Genetics Prize in 2015, and the $450,000 Japan Prize in 2017.

    #crispr-cas9 #brevets #recherche #génétique

  • KEI statement on GSK’s announcement of policies to expand access to patented medicines | Knowledge Ecology International

    GSK has made a major announcement of new policies to expand access to its patented medicines. A copy of the press statement is here. In a nutshell, GSK promises to file fewer patents or license patents in low income countries, lower prices in lower income countries, make its patent landscape more transparent, and to license patents to its oncology drugs to the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), in a number of (but not all) low and middle income countries.

    #santé #brevets #pharma #licences #bonne_nouvelle_pour_une_fois

  • ’Dissociation- La meilleure solution pour des médicaments abordables’ by Diane Singhroy - Knowledge Ecology International

    Le Mardi 6 Octobre j’ai eu l’opportunité de présenter à la journée “Les connaissances scientifiques : biens privés, publics ou communs ?” qui à eu lieu à Paris. Ceci était une occasion pour discuter les “conflits de pouvoir en matière de gouvernance des connaissances scientifiques.”

    Ma présentation intitulée “Dissociation- La meilleure solution pour des médicaments abordables”, introduit les concepts de médicaments comme biens publics et des mécanismes pour appliquer la dissociation. Spécifiquement, j’élabore sur les modèles de financement R&D alternatifs au brevet qui ont un effet de traction. Vous trouverez ci-dessous les diapositives de la présentation en format PDF.

    #brevets #santé #recherche

  • For cancer, de-linkage of drug prices from R&D costs needs to replace rationing of access, by Manon Ress | Knowledge Ecology International

    quote: "So cancer drug rationing is inevitable in all health economies – rich and poor alike. My solution is to have age limits for expensive therapies. Oncologists have been doing this covertly for the last two decades – it’s now time to be explicit."

    This is a morally repugnant statement, because, like many others, the author accepts the denial of access, as though there are no alternatives.

    We propose another solution, i.e. delinking the patient prices for cost of life saving medicines from R&D costs.

    #recherche #cancer #prix #santé #acces_aux_traitements

  • WTO TRIPS Council (February 2014) - Bangladesh’s intervention on IP and Innovation : University Technology Partnerships | Knowledge Ecology International

    Je n’ai pas l’habitude de mettre le texte en entier d’une page... mais celle-ci et le raisonnement qui la porte mérite.

    C’est l’intervention du Bengladesh à la conférence de l’OMC sur les Droits de Propriété intellectuelle, dans la session sur les universités et les transferts de technologie. Instructif.

    Bangladesh delivered the following intervention at the February 2014 WTO TRIPS Council on agenda item 12 (IP and Innovation: University Technology Partnerships). The United States of America tabled this standalone agenda item on University Technology Partnerships in the context of IP and Innovation.

    IP and Innovation: University Technology Partnership

    Thank you Mr. Chairman.

    We appreciate the initiative of the United States for introducing this issue and welcome the debate and exchange of ideas in the Council. This issue of University Technology Partnership is important for both the developed and the developing countries, but may be for different reasons. We agree that University Technology Partnership could be an important driver of economic growth. But there are two types of universities, government and private. We have nothing to say about the role and function of private universities as they usually operate as private companies. That’s why private universities are free to indulge into any kind of commercially beneficial research and resort to patent protection. But public universities funded by the government in the developing countries like Bangladesh are different cases. Because government is accountable to the people for the money they spend in all the sectors which include education, research and universities. So while we describe the role of University Technology Partnership regarding IP and innovation it is obvious that it will not play the same role in all the countries with the same effect.

    Mr. Chairman,

    The present global IP regime does not provide a level playing field and does not necessarily promote innovation and development equally in all the countries. In most of the developing countries and in all the LDCs, the private sector does not have the capacity to invest heavily in research and development. It is the government and public sector which fill the gap created by the absence of the private sector in research. Big educational institutions like universities and government research organizations do the bulk of research for the benefit of the common people. Government sponsored universities and research organizations in the field of higher education in Bangladesh had developed high yielding tea, paddy and jute in the field of agriculture and all the peoples of Bangladesh are benefitting from these inventions. Domestically prepared oral rehydration salt for the treatment of diarrhea was invented in Bangladesh by a government sponsored disease research centre which is now saving the lives of millions all over the world. However, for the interest of the people, these inventions were not protected. So we agree with US that Universities can be an important source of IP and innovation but due to lack of any identifiable transfer of technology and due to the spirit of universal benefit, public universities in the developing countries should always cater to the needs of the people based on the priorities for the social development and protecting and patenting their achievements for the commercial interest could be counter-productive to the idea of development.

  • Bloomberg’s viral misquote : Columbia Journalism Review

    That quote sounded a little too perfectly evil, and I couldn’t find the original anywhere online. So I asked Bayer whether Bloomberg had it wrong. They did.

    Here’s what Dekkers actually said, at a Financial Times conference that day, on a panel called “Buffering the Pharma Brand: Restoring Reputation, Rebuilding Trust” (the above link leads to video of the panel and the relevant part starts at about 19:00 in):

    “Is this going to have a big effect on our business model? No, because we did not develop this product for the Indian market, let’s be honest. We developed this product for Western patients who can afford this product, quite honestly. It is an expensive product, being an oncology product.

    mais :

    Agence France Presse, as far as I could find, was the only outlet that fact-checked the quote with Bayer, and even then the system broke down.
    Bayer said the statements attributed to Dekkers were accurate and forwarded written comments made later by the German chief executive seeking to explain his remarks.

    et Bloomberg a corrigé avec la mention :

    (Corrects last paragraph to show Dekkers said “Indian market” and include full quote.)


    cf. http://seenthis.net/messages/220303

    • on a enfin une transcription complète : du coup on découvre la suite de la citation, qui fait aussi froid dans le dos

      Transcript of Bayer CEO Marjin Dekkers quote at the December 3, 2013 FT Event, regarding India compulsory license of Nexavar | Knowledge Ecology International

      So now, is this going to have a big effect on our business model? No, because we did not develop this product for the Indian market, let’s be honest. I mean, you know, we developed this product for western patients who can afford this product, quite honestly. It is an expensive product, being an oncology product. But you know the risk in these situations is always spillover. If this generic Indian company is now going to sell this product, then South Africa, and then New Zealand, you never know, you know, how this is going to spillover. And that puts the whole industry and the patent right of an industry at risk.

  • Discours de l’Afrique du Sud à l’OMS, à la suite du #Pharmagate

    In 2000, the cost of combination antiretroviral therapy per person per annum was US$10 000. In 2010, ten years later these costs had been reduced to USS$1 000 per person per annum. We have further reduced these costs by 50%. This would not have been possible without generic competition. This explains why today, South Africa has been able to put 2,4 million people on treatment.
    Today around 4% of South Africans are on second line antiretroviral therapy. This number must be increased to 14% for those who have been on ART for more than 5 years. We know the long-term problems of managing a life-long chronic disease and the challenges of patients who fail first line therapy, who must be put on second line and salvage therapy. We need to avoid virological failures and achieve good clinical and immunological outcomes. This will not be possible at current costs which are 2,5 times the cost of 1st-line therapy.
    Similar arguments can be made regarding XDR-TB which is a killer and can be aggressively confronted with newer therapies, i.e. only if they are affordable. We have to put people on treatment that is affordable.
    EB134/12 refers to the MDR-TB crisis, having patients put on a waiting list. This should be avoided - and can be avoided.
    Generic competition has been the main driver of affordable medicines

    #sida #génériques #pharma #brevets #tuberculose #santé

  • Bayer’s CEO Marijn Dekkers: “We did not develop this medicine for Indians. We developed it for western patients who can afford it.”

    Merck to Bristol-Myers Face More Threats on India Drug Patents - Businessweek

    Bayer Chief Executive Officer Marijn Dekkers called the compulsory license “essentially theft.”

    “We did not develop this medicine for Indians,” Dekkers said Dec. 3. “We developed it for western patients who can afford it.”

    “We did not develop this medicine for Indians”

    “We developed it for western patients who can afford it.”

    #pharma #santé #inde #apartheid_médical #cancer

  • New leaked Merck missive reveals deep drug, medical device company opposition to South African patent reforms | Knowledge Ecology International

    KEI has obtained an email sent out on January 10th, 2014, by Michael Azark, Merck’s Managing Director for Southern and East Africa, that illustrates the deep involvement of two dozen companies in the campaign to undermine patent reform in South Africa. The Merck email, not public before today, sheds new light on industry lobbying to undermine South Africa patent reforms.

    #big_pharma #brevets #santé #afrique_du_sud

    (suite de http://seenthis.net/messages/218353)

  • KEI opening statement at WIPO General Assembly | Knowledge Ecology International

    According to the WHO, 7.6 million people worldwide died from cancer in 2008 and more approximately 70% of cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries — more than 5 million deaths per year in developing countries from cancer.
    KEI notes that there have been attacks on India, in its efforts to expand access to patented cancer drugs.
    History will not look kindly on those who contribute to medical #apartheid, as regards #cancer and other deadly illnesses.

    #santé #brevets

  • 170 Members of Congress Send Letter to Obama Criticizing India on Intellectual Property | Knowledge Ecology International

    On 18 June 2013, 170 Members of Congress sent a letter to President Obama criticizing India for its “intellectual property climate.” In particular, the letter criticizes recent decisions in the Indian courts, including a specific attack on India’s first compulsory license granted on Nexavar/sorafenib.

    #lobby #Pharma #inde #brevets

  • Le #Vatican et la #propriété_intellectuelle (intervention du 18 juin 2013 à la conférence diplomatique de l’OMPI pour un traité pour les aveugles)

    Intervention of the Holy See : WIPO Diplomatic Conference on a Treaty for the Blind | Knowledge Ecology International

    In the Developed countries as well visually impaired individuals have access to only 5 percent of published books. Such a situation has been appropriately called a “book famine”. In fact, many visually impaired learners and university students in developing countries lack access to textbooks.
    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes the right of all individuals to freely participate in the cultural life of the community and to enjoy the arts (Art. 27).
    Twenty or thirty years ago little could be done about the “book famine”. Printing braille books was time-consuming and resource-intensive. Technology has brought about important changes. Today visually impaired people can read books on computers using text-to-speech technology magnification, by means of so-called braille displays, or by listening to normal audio books. Now every book on the planet can quite easily be made accessible to blind users; instead of the 1% or 5% access of the past, today’s technical capacity allows close to 100%. Our goal, then, is not just a treaty, but rather a treaty that will resolve obstacles to access.
    While new technologies make it possible to imagine a world where visually impaired persons can access a broad variety of documents just as sighted people can do, the out-of-date legal environment is a barrier. The protection of intellectual property is an important value, which we must respect. However, there is a social mortgage on all property, including intellectual property. The very creative and innovative thrust, that the intellectual property rights system offers, exists primarily to serve the common good of the human community.

  • Brook Baker: Challenges Facing a Proposed WIPO Treaty for Persons Who are Blind or Print Disabled | Knowledge Ecology International

    The book famine in the Global South continues and text on the internet is frequently soundproof. Rather than address the pragmatic human rights needs of people who are blind and print-disabled by crafting a low-cost, easy-to-use solution, copyright and other IP industries, and their proxies in U.S. and E.U. trade offices, are holding a Treaty for the Blind hostage in order to build higher bulwarks to protect their monopoly right kingdoms.

    #drm vs #accessibilité
    #handicap #aveugles #traité #propriété_intellectuelle

  • R&D costs for Gleevec | Knowledge Ecology International

    Novartis was not “the innovative force.” Not only was all the basic research done in academic institutions, but so were the initial clinical investigations that showed STI 571 to be specifically effective against CML cells in vitro and in vivo. In fact, it took a few years for Brian Druker, the investigator most responsible for these latter studies, to convince Novartis that it should invest in a crash program to develop Gleevec and to undertake large-scale clinical trials.

    #glivec (ou en américain #gleevec) et les #coûts réels de la #recherche #pharma
    #santé #cancer #inde #brevets