Plans for a Survey of Licensing Practices
Robert Cook-Deegan, LeRoy Walters, Lori Pressman, Derrick Pau, Stephen McCormack, Janella Gatchalian, and Richard Burges
Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University
All citizens share an interest in the prudent use of patents, particularly patents covering genetic sequences, as tools to foster (and not inhibit) innovation and social progress. Understanding the ownership patterns of such patents, and the licensing behavior of their owners, is a prerequisite to informed policy formulation. We report on an algorithm developed to identify DNA-based patents, and the ownership patterns of such patents, including the fraction owned by the public and private sectors. For an important subset of the DNA-based patents, those owned by certain academic institutions responding to the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) survey, we will examine associations between the numbers of such patents and the aggregate licensing data reported by the institutions in the AUTM survey. We also present plans for a study on the licensing patterns of such patents from federal grantees and contractors in the United States and Canada.
The research group plans to study the licensing policies and practices of 12 academic institutions regarding their DNA-based patents. The proposed project is conceived as a pilot study that will test the feasibility of conducting a more comprehensive follow-up study of such policies and practices.
Bartha Maria Knoppers (ed). Populations and Genetics: Legal and Socio-Ethical Perspectives. © 2003 Koninklijke Brill NV. Printed in the Netherlands.