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.

"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 July 28, 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 July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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