Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Do intellectual property rights on existing technologies hinder subsequent innovation?

Date:
March 27, 2013
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
A recent study suggests that some types of intellectual property rights discourage subsequent scientific research.

A recent study published in the Journal of Political Economy suggests that some types of intellectual property rights discourage subsequent scientific research.

Related Articles


"The goal of intellectual property rights -- such as the patent system -- is to provide incentives for the development of new technologies.However, in recent years many have expressed concerns that patents may be impeding innovation if patents on existing technologies hinder subsequent innovation," said Heidi Williams, author of the study."We currently have very little empirical evidence on whether this is a problem in practice."

Williams investigated the sequencing of the human genome by the public Human Genome Project and the private firm Celera. Genes sequenced first by Celera were covered by a contract law-based form of intellectual property, whereas genes sequenced first by the Human Genome Project were placed in the public domain. Although Celera's intellectual property lasted a maximum of two years, it enabled Celera to sell its data for substantial fees and required firms to negotiate licensing agreements with Celera for any resulting commercial discoveries.

By linking a number of different datasets that had not previously been used by researchers, Williams was able to measure when genes were sequenced, which genes were held by Celera's intellectual property, and what subsequent investments were made in scientific research and product development on each gene. Williams' conclusion points to a persistent 20-30 percent reduction in subsequent scientific research and product development for those genes held by Celera's intellectual property.

"My take-away from this evidence is that -- at least in some contexts -- intellectual property can have substantial costs in terms of hindering subsequent innovation," said Williams."The fact that these costs were -- in this context -- 'large enough to care about' motivates wanting to better understand whether alternative policy tools could be used to achieve a better outcome.It isn't clear that they can, although economists such as Michael Kremer have proposed some ideas on how they might.I think this is an exciting area for future work."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Heidi L. Williams. Intellectual Property Rights and Innovation: Evidence from the Human Genome. Journal of Political Economy, 121:1; February 2013

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Do intellectual property rights on existing technologies hinder subsequent innovation?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130327144133.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2013, March 27). Do intellectual property rights on existing technologies hinder subsequent innovation?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130327144133.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Do intellectual property rights on existing technologies hinder subsequent innovation?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130327144133.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
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


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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