Compulsory Behavior

Tough Love on patent rights

Non-government organizations have been campaigning vigorously for years to erode intellectual property protections on pharmaceuticals, and while they have been able to shame big pharma into giving away AIDS therapies in sub-Saharan Africa, they have had little success in the U.S. and Europe. They hope the Cipro case will tip the balance in their favor in the U.S. Congress and at the upcoming World Trade Organization negotiations over a new global trade agreement.

James Love, director of the Consumer Project on Technology in Washington, is the movement's engine, pumping out dozens of emails a day to activists and the media, meeting with members of Congress and their staff, and continuously pushing to widen the focus from lowering prices of drugs for people living in poor countries to controlling prices for poor people who live in rich countries.