Research Tool Patents and Free-Libre Biotechnology: A Unified Perspective
AbstractThis paper proposes a unified conceptual framework to analyse 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 InfoPaper provided by Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg in its series Working Papers of BETA with number 2007-24.
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
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Intellectual property rights; sequential innovation; open source; life science; collective invention.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
- O3 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-06-23 (All new papers)
- NEP-INO-2007-06-23 (Innovation)
- NEP-IPR-2007-06-23 (Intellectual Property Rights)
- NEP-KNM-2007-06-23 (Knowledge Management & Knowledge Economy)
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