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Research tool patents and free-libre biotechnology: A suggested unified framework

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  • Pénin, Julien
  • Wack, Jean-Pierre

Abstract

This paper proposes a unified conceptual framework to analyze the multiple role and consequences of patents in the case of biotechnology research tools. We argue that the knowledge/information and independent/complementary nature of research tools define heterogeneous frameworks in which the patent system plays different roles. In particular, using the analogy with the free-libre open source movement in software, we show that patents can promote open innovation by ensuring the freedom of some pieces of knowledge. A strong conclusion of the paper is therefore that, against common belief, an adequate use of the patent system may contribute to preserving freedom of access to upstream research tools within a framework that we call free-libre biotechnology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

Volume (Year): 37 (2008)
Issue (Month): 10 (December)
Pages: 1909-1921

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Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:37:y:2008:i:10:p:1909-1921

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

Related research

Keywords: Intellectual property rights Sequential innovation Open source Knowledge Collective invention;

References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Julien Pénin, 2008. "More open than open innovation? Rethinking the concept of openness in innovation studies," Working Papers of BETA 2008-18, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  2. Sebastian von Engelhardt, 2010. "Quality Competition or Quality Cooperation? License-Type and the Strategic Nature of Open Source vs. Closed Source Business Models," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-034, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  3. Dr Chiara Rosazza Bondibene, 2012. "A Study of Patent Thickets," NIESR Discussion Papers 11129, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

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