[pp.int.general] Biological patents

Muriel Rovira Esteva muriel at pirata.cat
Fri Dec 11 11:37:11 CET 2015

Dear James,

I'm afraid not all pirates are against all patents. The consensus we
were able to reach for the Common Elections for the European
Parliament (CEEP) was more in the line of limiting and reforming them
(the same for the PIRATES Manifesto). However, it was indeed a
consensus that patents should not be granted to "works of nature", as
far as I understood.


Taking into account that 16 pirate parties subscribed the CEEP text
and that the text was reached by consensus, I'd also say that it's the
best place to start for a common ground to pirate ideals. I don't know
of any pirate text that has been officially subscribed by so many



>From the CEEP:


Patents in the Information Age

Patents mostly function as a deterrent to innovation rather than as an
incentive. The patenting of knowledge in areas like genetics and
biotechnology, as well as software, renders it a tangible threat to
the future of our society.

Monopolies on plants and seeds and costly legal disputes about often
trivial patents already demonstrate how it is both innovators and
consumers who have to pay the price. Patent law needs to be reformed
or replaced with an approach that enables freer and fairer markets
instead of continuing to further stifle innovation.

Rebalancing Patents with the Common Good

PIRATES believe that patents do not exist to allow big businesses to
stifle competition with an ever-growing tide of trivial and
overreaching patents.

We therefore want to halt the continued and increasing abuse of patents.

Patents in the Information Society

Economic success in the information society is no longer just
dependent on technological inventions, but on the development of
knowledge and sharing of information. The effort to regulate these
factors, now, via the patent system is diametrically opposed to our
demand for freedom of knowledge and human culture.

Patents should never be granted for “inventions” that are trivial,
non-substantial, computer programs, business models or works of
nature. These types of patent impede the development of an information
society and result in the privatisation of the commons. Small and
medium IT companies throughout Europe prove that patents on software
are no prerequisite to economic success. Innovation must be fairly
rewarded, but this does not necessarily require the granting of
monopolistic privileges that stifle innovation and negatively affect
the access to essential goods.

The EU, its member states and other industrialised countries should
not force less developed countries to accept patent provisions that
are likely to be detrimental to their essential needs, health,
education or development opportunities.

Patents, Medicines and Health

PIRATES oppose the frequent abuses of patent privileges, such as
introducing spurious changes to medicines with expiring patent
protection. Uncompetitive practices such as paying competitors in
order to delay the marketing of generics should be actively prevented.

We support the establishment and funding of alternative methods to
incentivise pharmaceutical innovation, to progressively replace
patents in this area. It is our aim to break the direct link between
the reward for advances and the price of the end product to ensure
medicines are affordable for all.

Universities and research institutes should be able to carry out
scientific research for health and medicine without being encumbered
by patents.

International Regulation of Intellectual Monopolies

PIRATES strive for a revision of the TRIPS Agreement in favour of
restricting exclusive rights on intangible goods. We would aim for
similar restrictions to apply to all trade agreements which may
include similar or even more far-reaching regulations on patents and


2015-12-10 21:26 GMT+01:00 James O'Keefe <jokeefe at jamesokeefe.org>:
> On Thu, Dec 10, 2015 at 1:59 PM, Daniel <danielrr2 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Related with the current thread on core tenets of the pirate movement I'd
>> like to know your opinion on whether rejection of biological patents is
>> generally understood as one of these core themes. An absolute rejection of
>> them? With exceptions?
>> Daniel
> As far as I know, Pirates reject all patents, so biological patents would
> also be rejected.  Even if not all patents are rejected, then the idea of
> "no patents on life" aka "No patents on nature" still applies.  Why should
> someone get a patent for making a minor change to DNA (compared to the
> trillions or more changes evolution has made) or for moving existing DNA
> from one species to another?
> peace,
> James
> --
> James O'Keefe
> Captain, Massachusetts Pirate Party / masspirates.org
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