Juggling Between Open Science and the Market: Public Science Responses to the Patentability of Biomedical Research Tools
Title: Juggling Between Open Science and the Market: Public Science Responses to the Patentability of Biomedical Research Tools
Author: JONJIC, Tamara
Publisher: Periodicum Biologorum
Citation: Periodicum Biologorum, 2010, 112, 4, 381-390
The aim of this study is to give an overview of the institutional realignments in the biomedical research sector brought about by changes in the intellectual property (IP) regime that enabled the expansion of patent protection to new areas, such as living organisms and basic biological information, and new actors, such as universities and public research institutes. These changes created two risks: a weaker dissemination of knowledge due to high access costs to research tools and findings, and the disruption of the norms of openness, traditionally associated with scientific progress. The present study elaborates a typology of public scientists' IP responses with respect to research tools and traces the main factors behind them on the basis of personal interviews and documentary analysis. The co-existence of different and often conflicting IP responses shows that public researchers operate in a hybrid institutional system, which forces them to juggle constantly between the rules of the market and the conventions of open science. Although they are often able to do so relatively smoothly, some responses clearly point at problems in the patent regime. Moreover they are indicative of some major changes in the research system, where new IP practices and growing science and technology interaction profoundly affect science funding policies, firm creation propensity and the organization of R&D across the public and the private sphere.
Files in this item
There are no files associated with this item.