The real reasons Jonas Salk didn’t patent the polio vaccine.

“There was near unanimity within the organization [National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis] that the public had already paid for the polio vaccine through their donations, and patenting it for profit would have represented double charging. That’s what Jonas Salk should have said to Murrow—not that all vaccines belong to the people, but rather that this vaccine belonged to the people….

 

There is an important footnote regarding Salk’s statement that “there is no patent.” Prior to Murrow’s interview with Salk, lawyers for the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis did look into the possibility of patenting the vaccine, according to documents that Jane Smith uncovered during her dive into the organization’s archives. The attorneys concluded that the vaccine didn’t meet the novelty requirements for a patent, and the application would fail. This legal analysis is sometimes used to suggest that Salk was being somewhat dishonest—there was no patent only because he and the foundation couldn’t get one. That’s unfair. Before deciding to forgo a patent application, the organization had already committed to give the formulation and production processes for the vaccine to several pharmaceutical companies for free….”

NOT-OD-17-050: Reporting Preprints and Other Interim Research Products

“The NIH encourages investigators to use interim research products, such as preprints, to speed the dissemination and enhance the rigor of their work. This notice clarifies reporting instructions to allow investigators to cite their interim research products and claim them as products of NIH funding….”

Berkeley commits to accelerating universal open access, signs the OA2020 Expression of Interest – UC Berkeley Library News

“The University Library at UC Berkeley took a major step today in its commitment to achieving universal open access for scholarly journal literature by signing the OA2020 Expression of Interest, in collaboration with UC Davis and UC San Francisco.”

When politics trumps science, we lose

“While it is illegal to destroy government data, removing data from accessible agency websites can effectively impede accessibility. Revising websites or creating other barriers to the underlying information can make it very difficult to find vital information. Also, much of the scientific information painstakingly collected over past decades, and costing hundreds of billions of dollars, remains held only by the government, and it is distributed through thousands of servers in hundreds of federal departments where it might not be backed up, making it difficult or impossible to find. Once information becomes sequestered, it becomes nearly impossible to know what has been lost if one doesn’t know what originally was there.

 

Thus, there is growing anxiety developing among many scientists who rely on the vast cache of data housed on government servers that key data may become sequestered or unavailable for public access. Many researchers further fear a crusade by the Trump administration against the scientific information provided to the public; the National Centers for Environmental Information may be one federal agency especially vulnerable to having vital information sequestered or removed from ready access. The proposed deep budget cuts for several government agencies have added to the fears of important databases being selectively reduced or removed….”

Do US Patent Incentives Need To Change To Get The ‘Cancer Moonshot’ Off The Ground? – Intellectual Property Watch

“The Moonshot is a partnership with the public, and significant public funds are being invested in the project. It is not so simple, however, to argue that information generated under the Moonshot can be ordered to be shared. When private companies work together on this project, they won’t just be sharing their data but sharing how they collect that data. Much of this information falls under the category of trade secrets, which companies guard closely….[Jacob] Sherkow advocates for prohibiting information that could be shared from eligibility as trade secrets….This would be coupled with a broadening of patentability criteria, said Sherkow. “Broadening up patentable subject matter has its disadvantages, to be sure, but in something like a public-private partnership, where the name of the game is creating information and then disclosing it to people, that’s definitely better than having the taxpayer pay for private trade secrets that vest in a for-profit company,” he said….”

Do US Patent Incentives Need To Change To Get The ‘Cancer Moonshot’ Off The Ground? – Intellectual Property Watch

“The Moonshot is a partnership with the public, and significant public funds are being invested in the project. It is not so simple, however, to argue that information generated under the Moonshot can be ordered to be shared. When private companies work together on this project, they won’t just be sharing their data but sharing how they collect that data. Much of this information falls under the category of trade secrets, which companies guard closely….Sherkow advocates for prohibiting information that could be shared from eligibility as trade secrets….This would be coupled with a broadening of patentability criteria, said Sherkow. “Broadening up patentable subject matter has its disadvantages, to be sure, but in something like a public-private partnership, where the name of the game is creating information and then disclosing it to people, that’s definitely better than having the taxpayer pay for private trade secrets that vest in a for-profit company,” he said….”

There are two large ways to reduce OA to federally funded research

“There are two large ways that the Trump administration and Republican Congress could reduce the number of OA publications arising from federally funded research. First, Trump could require federal funding agencies to drop or dilute their OA policies. Second, Congress could cut their budgets, reducing the amount of research they could fund. Or both.

So far there’s no sign of the first danger materializing. (I’ll do my best to keep you posted.) But there are now signs of the second….”

U of California, Berkeley, to delete publicly available educational content

“The University of California, Berkeley, will cut off public access to tens of thousands of video lectures and podcasts in response to a U.S. Justice Department order that it make the educational content accessible to people with disabilities….”