Quiz by: MMICHAS
Part of the issue here was that there were two products that were linked, weren’t there? Nestlé spelled…that they sell a machine but they also sold the coffee pods and they’re linking them together.
That’s right. The court found that they ought not to be linked in that way and that the protection wasn’t really afforded to the whole linking so the court separated it out, which I think is a good move for consumers.
Yeah, because I guess if you go and buy the machine in a shop, are you thinking at that stage that you’re then gonna be forced to buy from only one source these pods for the rest of that machine’s life?
That’s a very important point and the court found that wasn’t going to be in most consumers’ mind. So I don’t think any consumer would think that they were forced to buy that one product for the rest of the duration of the ^product.
And we’ve seen something similar with car parts…
…for example If you buy a new Ford, should you be forced to buy parts from Ford for the rest of the car’s life?
Absolutely, that’s been to court and that’s been established.
However, doing the job you do, you must think that patents are good for society at large.
Absolutely, I mean, a patent encourages innovation, it encourages research, it provides certainty so for the duration of the patent, which is 20 years, er, the manufacturer knows that it’s going to be protected and he can put a lot of time into, into investment.
We do see sometimes though, if you’re talking about a drug that when it comes off patent, you can see its price fall by 90, 95% sometimes. Does make you question whether it was protection or whether it was profiteering.
Well, I don’t think profiteering is probably the way I would look at it because the, er, we all know that the amount of effort and cost in getting a farm patent to market is hugely expensive, involves huge amount of research. So I think that if that was removed, you would see not as many products going to patent, which I think wouldn’t be good for the consumer.
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