Patent allegation patently false: what C4 and Sunday Times didn't tell you 27 November 2004
Clifford G. Miller,
Patent lawyer, graduate physicist
Beckenham, Kent, England, BR3 3LA

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Re: Patent allegation patently false: what C4 and Sunday Times didn't tell you


Dear Sir,


Who checked the facts at the Sunday Times and Channel 4 before these allegations (1) were made? If Wakefield was in it for the money, he needed to keep his mouth shut about MMR instead of speaking out as he did in 1998 on behalf of seriously damage children. Read on here to find out why. There is also more detailed information from Wakefield himself at MMR: The Questions website.

What is worse is that there is even more science published in the past two months showing Wakefield is right and the government and medical establishment is wrong. This includes papers from Johns Hopkins and The Royal Free and the trashing of the weak epidemiology the government has bet the ranch on.

C4 and the Sunday Times also need to explain making these allegations in the week before the government's MMR 'catch up' campaign in London to vaccinate 90,000 children who have had no immunisation.

The last time there was something like this was done was when the decision was being made to withdraw legal aid from these 2000 and more seriously vaccine damaged children earlier this year. That time also the Sunday Times led the charge.

Further, the catch-up campaign is mounted because the government refuses to make single vaccines available. It is official opposition policy to provide single vaccines. If the government feels it can safely leave children 'unprotected' but claim they will die, this shows the alleged risks are overblown and grossly exaggerated by an irresponsible government and medical establishment that fails to investigate the extent of the damage caused by the vaccines and exaggerates the risks of not having them.

This is a re-run of thalidomide with the difference being the kids look physically normal this time. We really do need jail terms for government ministers and officials because this kind of thing keeps happening.


The Sunday Times ('ST') and Channel 4 Dispatches ('C4') accused Wakefield of:-
  • discrediting MMR in 1998 to launch his own patented measles vaccine;
  • having other MMR related 'product' patents in 1998 (also incorrect - see below);
- 'MMR scare doctor planned rival vaccine' - November 14, 2004

  • if Wakefield was in it for the money, all Wakefield had to do was keep his mouth shut to keep MMR in use because;
    • discrediting MMR would have eliminated and/or reduced the market for any product based on the patents;
    • that would damage the commercial viability of any patents and with it any money anyone might make;
    • no one could make any money from a patented single measles vaccine even if MMR was discredited (read on for why);

  • ST and C4 talk about four patents (2):-
    • the patented inventions were to remedy MMR caused damage;
    • the titles of these patents/applications (2) show the inventions depend upon MMR as a cause of Crohn's disease, regressive behavioural disease, MMR virus mediated disease, inflammatory bowel disease or regressive behavioural disorder;
    • they were dependent wholly or partly upon MMR caused problems;
    • discrediting MMR reduced any market for them
  • Wakefield could not make any money from a patented single measles vaccine by discrediting MMR:-
    • there are inexpensive readily available unpatented single measles vaccines (like that being used in Madagascar now);
    • in discrediting MMR Wakefield was handing the market to the existing vaccine manufacturers
    • there was no Royal Free measles vaccine then and there is none now, so there was no point saying anything until there was
  • at the relevant time Royal Free owned the patents and not Wakefield
    • the only one of the patents on which Wakefield was named as owner/applicant is not a patent for a vaccine but for diagnosing Crohn's disease,
      • this would be more valuable with MMR around to cause Crohn's disease than not, so there would be no point Wakefield complaining about MMR if he was in it for the money;
    • on the rest of the patents he is named as inventor as is normal practice but that confers no ownership rights nor per se rights to benefit;
  • C4/ST misleadingly refers to 'products' and fails to explain what a patent is. Just because the patent office grant a patent that is simply a protection for a claimed invention, regardless of whether the invention actually does work or that it can be turned into a viable product. Taking out a patent is speculative and it is of little or no intrinsic value if there is:-
    • no viable commercial product; and,
    • no plans for a product.
  • it is clear from the patents themselves that Wakefield was not planning a measles vaccine because:-
    • he was not the patent owner, so he could do nothing;
    • it is perfectly normal for research institutions to protect inventions speculatively even though there are no plans to commercialise;
    • the main purpose of the claimed 'invention' was not for the purpose of a vaccine;
    • it is normal practice to include in a patent claims to as broad a range of applications as is valid so as not to lose the benefit of the broadest protection
    • there are and were no plans or any steps taken to commercialise
  • if Wakefield had a vaccine patent of his own, he would need to keep his mouth shut until:-
    • there was conclusive proof MMR caused autism (so he could knock MMR out of the market);
    • the vaccine had been through clinical trials and had a medicines licence in relevant countries;
    • he was ready for manufacture and market;
    • instead he spoke out;
    • there would be no commercial value in challenging MMR before then (as Wakefield did with insufficient 'proof');
    • the way to go about it would be to wait until there was absolute knockout proof to guarantee MMR would be knocked out of the market.
  • Wakefield would have been keeping quiet for quite some time because it takes several years for the various stages of clinical trials to be passed successfully for a pharmaceutical to be approved and a product licence granted by governmental regulatory agencies (although we know in the case of vaccines that they have been allowed on the market in the past with insufficient testing)

1) Sunday 14th November and Thursday 18th November

GB2300259 "Diagnosing Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis by detection of measles virus"

GB2347742 "Pharmaceutical composition for regressive behavioural disease"

GB2325856 "Pharmaceutical composition for treatment of MMR virus mediated disease comprising a transfer factor obtained from the dialysis of virus-specific lymphocytes"

GB2341551 "Pharmaceutical composition containing transfer factor for treatment of inflammatory bowel disease and regressive behavioural disorder)

Competing interests: Close relative with life-threatening food allergy.