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 copyright.