Qiagen refuses to tell! Proprietary information.

WSchick at aol.com WSchick at aol.com
Sat Aug 31 09:28:38 EST 1996

In a message dated 96-08-30 06:02:19 EDT, fkhero at biogen.wblab.lu.se (Fredrik
Kamme) writes:

<< Hi, it's me again,
 I called them and they refused to tell. Are they contributing to science
 or just profiting from it?
There are several ways to protect unique products from being copied by
competitors. The patent system is one if you can qualify.

Another is proprietary information, or a trade secret.  Most employment
contracts with commercial firms have a proprietary information clause.  (Does
biogen, your email address, have any proprietary processes for their

Essentially, by keeping the secret internally, competitors will have great
difficulty copying the results of years and $$$ invested to make a superior
product.   CocaCola formulation is a proprietary secret and if you called
them, I'm sure they would also refuse to tell.

Both patents and trade secrets permit a company to recover their costs to
research and develop a product to make your research life simpler or easier
or more repeatable.  If you buy their product, buy it on its merits.  This
should help your own contribution to science; their product indirectly
contributing to your success.   

If they happen to profit from supplying you a useful product, then they can
reinvest and develop additional tools for your work.  Which Qiagen and other
comapnies do.

If their profit is excessive, then you will find home-made substitutes.  Or
competition will offer alternatives.  5 Prime- 3 Prime,  Promega, Bio-Rad,

Hope your work is helped with these proprietary kits!

Walt Schick

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