Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Can Patents Stifle Innovation In Biomedical Research?

Date:
May 6, 1998
Source:
University Of Michigan
Summary:
Federal patent policy in biomedical research imposes social costs overlooked in the public debate, according to a paper by two professors at the University of Michigan Law School appearing in last week's issue of Science.

ANN ARBOR---Federal patent policy in biomedical research imposes social costs overlooked in the public debate, according to a paper by two professors at the University of Michigan Law School appearing in last week's issue of Science.

Related Articles


Profs. Michael A. Heller and Rebecca S. Eisenberg argue that granting too many patent rights in pre-market or "upstream" biomedical research paradoxically may stifle discovery of life-saving "downstream" products.

Biomedical research has been shifting from a commons to a privatization model, they note. Under the old model, research was publicly funded and results were made freely available in the public domain. The new model, by encouraging universities and private firms to patent their findings, has increased private investment and spurred the pace of upstream research.

However, downstream product developers now face a daunting bargaining challenge. Before they can develop new products and bring them to market, they need to collect licenses from many owners of upstream patents. These owners have conflicting priorities and conflicting assessments of relative value.

Heller and Eisenberg use property theory to explain the paradox of more patents and fewer products. Policy-makers often prescribe privatization to cure a "tragedy of the commons" in which people overuse shared resources.

But, in solving one tragedy, privatization can go astray and accidentally create a "tragedy of the anticommons" in which people underuse scarce resources because too many owners can block each other.

Examples of potential anticommons tragedies include patenting of gene fragments and royalty-stacking through the use of reach-through-license-agreements (RTLAs) for patented research tools.

According to Heller and Eisenberg, privatization of biomedical research must be more carefully deployed to promote upstream research without stifling downstream discoveries.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Michigan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Michigan. "Can Patents Stifle Innovation In Biomedical Research?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 May 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/05/980506080521.htm>.
University Of Michigan. (1998, May 6). Can Patents Stifle Innovation In Biomedical Research?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/05/980506080521.htm
University Of Michigan. "Can Patents Stifle Innovation In Biomedical Research?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/05/980506080521.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

AFP (Jan. 29, 2015) — Oxfam International has called for a multi-million dollar post-Ebola "Marshall Plan", with financial support given by wealthy countries, to help Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to recover. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brawling Pandas Are Violently Adorable

Brawling Pandas Are Violently Adorable

Buzz60 (Jan. 29, 2015) — Video of pandas play fighting at the Chengdu Research Base in China will make your day. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) shows us. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Battle of Waterloo Artefacts Go on Display at Windsor Castle

Battle of Waterloo Artefacts Go on Display at Windsor Castle

AFP (Jan. 29, 2015) — Artefacts from the Battle of Waterloo go on display at Windsor Castle to mark the 200th anniversary of the momentous battle. The exhibition includes contemporary prints, drawings and personal belongings of French Emperor Napoleon. Duration: 00:31 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tesla 'Insane Mode' Gives Unsuspecting Passengers the Ride of Their Life

Tesla 'Insane Mode' Gives Unsuspecting Passengers the Ride of Their Life

RightThisMinute (Jan. 29, 2015) — If your car has an "Insane Mode" then you know it&apos;s fast. Well, these unsuspecting passengers were in for one insane ride when they hit the button. Tesla cars are awesome. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins