The Constitution

James Burns burns at cbl.umd.edu
Fri Apr 7 12:24:45 EST 1995


On Wed, 5 Apr 1995, Patrick O'Neil wrote:

> 
> 
> I would think that you, in fact, cannot exchange info absolutely freely 
> with other scientists since you do work for a company.  How would the 
> company react to you spilling trade secrets or providing information to 
> others, and potential competitors, before they apply for a patent on some 
> discovery or procedure?  You are free to communicate insofar as it 
> doesn't run counter to the interests of your employer.
> 
> Patrick
 I would have to agree with this statement. I am ethical opposed to the 
patenting of scientific information because of the situation as described 
above. 
  Science works by a free exchange of information and sharing of 
techniques. Patents prevent science from functioning as it ought to. When 
a scientist/company receives a patent on a technique/organism, certain 
questions are no longer allowed to be asked by the scientific community 
(unless the patent holder agrees). 
  I feel the scientific community needs to address this issue. It has 
been mentioned in some literature (see On Being a Scientist by NAS), but 
never explored to any real depth.

jay 




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