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Pambazuka - Intellectual property: Pharmaceuticals, public health and subtle exploitation - 2 views

  • Big Pharma corporations like Pfizer, Novartis, Glaxosmithkline, - as well as over 60% of Fortune 500 multinationals, all maintain entities in Delaware, taking full advantage of ring-fenced legal and financial opacity tools. In addition to banking secrecy and zero disclosure of beneficial owners, Delaware allows for parent companies to establish holding companies within two days, producing nothing, conducting no economic activity in the state, and generally hosting just one shareholder (the parent company). Such entities, allowing the parent company to pay the newly created entity a 'fee' for use of IP, serves as a passive conduit converting taxable income to passive non-taxable profit. The entity's sole purpose is to own and 'manage' laundered income generated from IP.
  • Intentionally weak and easily circumvented global rules regulating trade facilitates considerable leeway to exploit - and misprice, the value of intangible assets. A Pfizer patent, for instance, may be worth $100 million or a $10: by and large, the company internally determines the value of IP, imputing a 'market price'.
  • Intra-company mispricing not only distorts and manipulates the proposed neoliberal concept of the market (as most efficient allocator of price and resources), but simultaneously drains developing countries of sustainable tax revenues
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