Survey evidence of Feldman/Lemley criticized; the story of Copaxone
Generally, licensing of third party work is always going to face the "not invented here" syndrome. Yes, we licensed it but only because it was easier than fighting. Our work is the real innovation. The Feldman finding is not a big surprise and not an indictment of the patent system
The obstacle of the "not invented here" was faced by Chester Carlson, inventor of xerography. Of more recent vintage is the story of Copaxone.
Arnon: "Not really. It wasn’t as if other companies were waiting by my door. At the time, I had ties with scientists at several companies, but they weren’t happy bringing outside products to their management. What, they'd reveal to their superiors that in-house R&D wasn’t good enough? At Teva, Michael had a direct relationship with the company's management, and it didn’t have an in-house innovative R&D department anyway.
From Globes article, Copaxone's inventors hope for improved treatment
**Separately, one notes that the discovery of Copaxone was not part of a coordinated drug discovery effort.
From the Globes article:
Prof. Michael Sela and Prof. Ruth Arnon from the Weizmann Institute of Science discovered Copaxone for the treatment of multiple sclerosis while seeking to develop a product to induce the disease. The serendipitous discovery became the drug with the biggest sales by an Israeli pharmaceutical company. It would be no exaggeration to say that the discovery has even affected the Israeli economy.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) is expected to report $3.7-3.9 billion in Copaxone sales in 2013, after steady growth from $2.3 billion in 2008 to $4 billion in 2012.
Arnon and Sela have repeatedly said that they did not embark on their study to develop a drug. Sela told "Globes", "For me, curiosity is the determining factor; curiosity and truth. I am allergic to lies, but I can wake up at 2 am because something interests me. What interested me during the discovery of Copaxone was immunology - how the immune system works."
Arnon, who was Sela's doctoral student when Copaxone's development was initiated, has stressed that she was not seeking to develop a drug, but to complete a detective story to create understanding where previously there was only ignorance.
The year was 1967, and Arnon and Sela attempted to induce multiple sclerosis in animals to discover the causes of the disease and to create a model for understanding it.