kuzmich writes "The Taiwanese government has announced that it will violate patent laws to manufacture a drug that can help fight bird flu virus. In doing so, they have spelled out their reasoning very clearly: 'We have tried our best to negotiate with Roche, it means we have shown our goodwill to Roche and we appreciate their patent. But to protect our people is the utmost important thing'. Not being in Taiwan, this makes me wonder how bad the situation would have to be for some of the other governments to follow a path of violating patent and copyright laws for the benefit of the general population. Are there precedents, procedures for doing so?"