First Get A Patent, Then Do No Harm

Let’s face it, as with everything in this world, medicine is a business and as with all businesses, innovation is key to benefiting the public it serves. The patent office does not grant patents just for the heck of it, and in medicine having the ability to patent one's inventions ensures that all of us have access to technology created that might not have been pursued if the inventor could not claim reasonable ownership of said invention. Spencer Kobren speaks with IAHRS accepted member Sanusi Umar, M.D. about the medical device patenting process as well as the importance of sharing patented technology and the surgical methodology accounted with the invention with one’s colleagues.

Sanusi Umar: In my opinion, if you have something new then what you do is you basically patent it and that should keep it secure and then you should share. And that's what I'm doing.

Spencer Kobren:  Right. I agree with that.

Sanusi Umar: Sometimes patents might get violated. That's the nature of the world in which we live.

Spencer Kobren:  It's the unfortunate nature.

Sanusi Umar: That should not deter one from sharing. Actually, you learn by sharing.

Spencer Kobren: Let me tell you something. Bill Rassman has more patents than I have hair on my head. You know? That is the nature of the game. But it's all part of medicine. You patent your device and then you go out there and you show the world what you're doing, you show the medical community what you're doing. That's the way to do it.

Sanusi Umar: Exactly. I mean, the process you learn. You might even find ways to do things even better.

Spencer Kobren: Right.

Sanusi Umar: It's give and take. That's what it is. In the process, you share what you know and it gets out there. That's the way it works.

Spencer Kobren: Right.

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