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Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.
A Voice for Private Physicians Since 1943
Omnia pro aegroto

October 10, 2002

For immediate release:

Kathryn Serkes

Andrew Schlafly, Esq
[email protected]

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 extension.

"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."

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