For Immediate Release
Public Knowledge President Gigi B. Sohn announced that PK's 2005 IP3 awards will be presented to Victoria Hale, founder of the Institute for One World Health, which uses donated intellectual property to produce low-cost medicines for the developing world; Gregory Maguire, author of “Wicked” and other novels; and David P. Reed, one of the pioneering computer scientists whose work led to the development of the architecture of the Internet.
Awards are given to individuals who over the past year (or over the course of their careers) who have advanced the public interest in one of the three areas of “IP” – Intellectual Property, Information Policy and the Internet Protocol. The awards will be presented Sept. 29 in Washington, D.C.
Victoria Hale's work on patents shows that there are successful alternative approaches to cultivating patents and patent-based medical products. Her organization, the Institute for OneWorld Health, is an example of development of intellectual property outside the for-profit model. As a “nonprofit pharmaceutical,” the company's mission is to produce safe, effective, new and affordable medicines to tackle the world's most formidable diseases for the world's neediest people. The Institute has a business model of nonprofit drug development, fueled by partnerships with medical research and global health firms, acceptance of donated intellectual property, and building upon the scientific and manufacturing capacity of the developing world. Dr. Hale has demonstrated how there need not be a conflict between the commercial world and the non-profit world, in an area where the approach to intellectual property can have life-and-death consequences for millions.
Gregory Maguire's body of work is a perfect example of the value of the public domain, as he has built upon existing stories to create something new and novel. In his book, “Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister,” Maguire recast the story of Cinderella from the point of view of the most unlikely of characters – Cinderella's step-sister. In his best known work, “Wicked,” – which was the basis for the Broadway musical of the same name — Maguire gave the Wicked Witch of the West, a relatively minor character in the Wizard of Oz, a name, Elphaba, and a rich and full life of her own. Maguire had to be careful because the copyright on the Oz stories expired as Maguire was finishing “Wicked,” although the copyright on the movie has not. Attorneys had to go over the manuscript to determine which references came from the books, and whether any came from the well-known movie. A sequel to “Wicked” will be published on Sept. 27.
David P. Reed belongs to a select group of Internet pioneers whose work, while not necessarily well known in the general public, has helped to shape our world through the developments of technology. Reed is being honored for his work on computer networking, including his seminal work on the end-to-end principle as the basis of the architecture of the Internet, which allows for the efficiencies and decentralization which we are used to today, and for the invention of the UDP protocol, which is the basis for the transmission of streaming media on the Net. He continues his research today on the economics of group formation and networks. Reed is a former professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and worked for early software companies such as Software Arts, which developed VisiCalc, and Lotus.
Public Knowledge is a public-interest advocacy and education organization that seeks to promote a balanced approach to intellectual property law and technology policy that reflects the “cultural bargain” intended by the framers of the constitution. More information available at: http://www.publicknowledge.org
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