N. Tucson Blvd. Suite 9
Tucson, AZ 85716-3450
Phone: (800) 635-1196
Hotline: (800) 419-4777
of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.
A Voice for Private Physicians Since 1943
Omnia pro aegroto
October 10, 2002
For immediate release:
Andrew Schlafly, Esq
AAPS Doctors File Brief In Supreme Court Copyright Case
Could Affect CPT Codes, Drug Patents
Washington, DC - Andrew Schlafly, Esq., General Counsel for the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, issued the following statement regarding Supreme Court copyright case, Eldred v. Ashcroft:
"End the extensions for copyrights and patents! That is what the Supreme
Court will considered Wednesday in Eldred v. Ashcroft. The Association of
American Physicians & Surgeons (AAPS) filed a brief in favor of the public
and against the special interests benefiting from the latest copyright
"The High Court will render its most important ruling on intellectual property
in a decade. The Court will assess the constitutionality of the Sonny Bono
Copyright Term Extension Act, which was railroaded through Congress in a
single day in 1998. The Act extended by twenty years the ownership of works
created as long ago as 1923.
"AAPS is concerned that any affirmance of the Act will encourage Congress to
extend patent protections for much-needed prescription drugs. Already
patients are deprived by patents of access to affordable drugs.
"AAPS also objects to the infringement by the Act on free speech. Misuse of
copyright interferes with essential debate about legal standards and codes
that are imposed by law. The American Medical Association (AMA) attempts to
prevent anyone from posting and debating on the internet the Current
Procedural Terminology (CPT), the codes used to bill for Medicare.
"Enough is enough. We too love Donald and Mickey and Goofy and Pluto, but
Disney cannot own them forever. Drug companies should not own essential
drugs forever, either. Congressional power is limited, and it should not be
allowed to prolong copyrights and patents for existing material. It is
unconstitutional for Congress to repeatedly extend the ownership of old
works, and AAPS urges the Court to limit congressional power to grant these
entitlements to special interests."