Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Aussie David v's 6 Goliaths

The CSIRO is a great Australian institution. Founded according to a simple, and traditionally Australian concept, that if we all pool our resources and set ourselves ambitious goals, and work hard, we can achieve more than if we just waste our energies dog-eat-dog fashion.

The CSIRO with origins in the early days of World War 1 is a standout legacy of those fine Australian traditions and institution that our forefathers dreamed up for the benefit of all. It has over the years had to defend itself from attacks by those right-wing ideologues who believe that pooling resources is evil, and who believe that the only success that counts is that achieved at the expense of others.

The CSIRO has fought off these challenges, and proven time and time again that publicly funded institutions deliver high value to Australian society.

So it is fascinating to see this traditional Aussie battler institution setting itself up for a huge stoush with half a dozen monoliths of the American computer industry including Microsoft, Dell, Intel, HP and Apple.

The CSIRO you see has got a patent on some technology that allows computers to communicate with Wireless technology.

The big monsters don’t like it naturally because they see the market for WIFI getting really big, and they don’t want to share any of the pie with our little Aussie battler institution. So they’ve launched a legal case to overturn the patent. The legal resources that these companies have at their disposal is enormous, and our little Aussie battler is going to have to finance this case and fight tooth and nail, paying big US lawyers, big US dollars to beat the bastards back.

For the Americans the US-Australia FTA is mostly about intellectual property. Its about forking over royalties to American firms, and they’re very aggressive about making sure they get it too.

Now the boot is on the other foot, and a little Aussie battler owns the IP and the Computer titans don’t like it and they’re fighting. But the CSIRO has to fight this case in the US and pay big US bucks to do it to. So where’s the balance? What if it wasn’t the CSIRO? What if it was a small company? How could it afford to take on these monsters? Why should the CSIRO have to fight the case in the US? - So much for a Free Trade Agreement.

We are lucky that the little Aussie battler in question is an Australian public institution, and we should demand that the Government support this fight to the bitter end – with public funds if necessary. It’s more than just a little IP at stake. It’s Australian sovereignty.

Note: 3000 character limit on comments

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?