CERN: the Large Hadron Collider : Publications : Resources : Venner Shipley

“As with every scientific institute, CERN recognises that there is both an obligation and willingness for knowledge transfer, so that the discoveries and knowledge gained by its scientists can be disseminated to, and applied in, the real world to the benefit of the public. CERN is therefore no exception in trying to make its technologies available for both scientific and commercial purposes. An open science policy, however, requires there to be a ‘full and timely disclosure of findings and methods’ and in this regard there is often seen to be a conflict between open science and intellectual property (IP).

Two notable cases are evident from CERN’s history. In the 1970s, CERN pioneered the use of touch screens and trackballs in their computerised control systems. However, researchers were unable to progress this technology further as industrial partners were unwilling to invest, in the event that CERN would disclose this technology under the remit of their open science model. Thus, without the kinds of assurance provided by IP, touch screens and trackballs remained in house, without further development. In contrast, whilst working with Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, CERN agreed to release the World Wide Web software into the public domain in 1993 and followed the next release with an open licence. The subsequent global dissemination and use of the World Wide Web speaks for itself….”

Proprietary Grapes Come With Draconian End User License Agreement

“A company put an end user license agreement (EULA) on a bag of grapes: “The recipient of the produce contained in this package agrees not to propagate or reproduce any portion of this produce, including ‘but not limited to’ seeds, stems, tissue, and fruit,” read the EULA on a bag of Carnival brand grapes….”

US Patent Boss Says No Evidence Of Patents Holding Back COVID Treatments, Days Before Pharma Firms Prove He’s Wrong | Techdirt

“A week or so ago, the head of the US Patent and Trademark Office, Andrei Iancu, who has been an extreme patent maximalist over the years, insisted that there was simply no evidence that patents hold back COVID treatments. This is a debate we’ve been having over the past few months. We’ve seen some aggressive actions by patent holders, and the usual crew of patent system supporters claiming, without evidence that no one would create a vaccine without much longer patent terms….

But just to highlight how ridiculous Iancu’s statements were, just days later, Pfizer, Regeneron, and BioNTech — all working on COVID treatments (including the antibody cocktail that President Trump took from Regeneron) — were all sued for patent infringement for their COVID treatments….

So, it certainly appears that patents are getting in the way of some COVID-19 treatments….”

KEI on Moderna’s Oct 8, 2020 Statement on Intellectual Property Matters during the COVID-19 Pandemic | Knowledge Ecology International

“Moderna’s statement on intellectual property matters during the COVID-19 pandemic is very good, and should be matched by every manufacturer of a therapeutic, vaccine or diagnostic test. We also encourage Moderna to engage with the WHO COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) and the Medicines Patent Pool. Every manufacturer of a vaccine, drug or diagnostic should follow suit and publish the patents relevant to the technology, waive or license rights in those patents, and  provide constructive transfer of manufacturing know-how and access to cell lines and data when necessary.

It is notable that Moderna has addressed both the  pandemic and the post pandemic period, stating “to eliminate any perceived IP barriers to vaccine development during the pandemic period, upon request we are also willing to license our intellectual property for COVID-19 vaccines to others for the post pandemic period.” …”

Pledging intellectual property for COVID-19 | Nature Biotechnology

“Voluntary pledges to make intellectual property broadly available to address urgent public health crises can overcome administrative and legal hurdles faced by more elaborate legal arrangements such as patent pools and achieve greater acceptance than governmental compulsory licensing….”

[KEI recommendations to WHO on COVID-related research]

“The WHO secretariat should request in writing that the funders of COVID-19 R&D including in particular governments and philanthropies include language in contracts and use their financial leverage to enable sharing of know-how, cell lines and rights in data and patents, for COVID-19 related technologies.

The WHO secretariat should request in writing that the funders of COVID-19 R&D including in particular governments and philanthropies include language in contracts and use their financial leverage to enable sharing of know-how, cell lines and rights in data and patents, for COVID-19 related technologies.

There should be no monopolies on patents, regulatory exclusivities, data or know-how in this pandemic. All relevant technology for COVID-19 products should be available either free or openly licensed with non-discriminatory, reasonable and affordable royalties….”

DARPA letter to KEI confirming investigation of Moderna for failure to report government funding in patent applications | Knowledge Ecology International

“On Friday, September 18, 2020, KEI received a letter from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) confirming that the agency was investigating Moderna for failure to report government funding in patent applications. The Financial Times and other outlets had previously reported this investigation (see: https://www.keionline.org/moderna), but this letter is the first official notice we have received from DARPA.

The letter from DARPA is signed by D. Peter Donaghue, who is the Division Director for Contracts at DARPA.

The letter is short, and confirms that DARPA is conducting an investigation. I would expect Moderna to report this to shareholders at some point….”

New York Times Again Forgets to Mention the Fool Proof Way to Prevent Foreign Governments from Stealing Vaccine Research – Center for Economic and Policy Research

“Of course that would be having open research that was freely shared. That would immediately make theft impossible, since there would be nothing to steal.

This simple and obvious point is not mentioned once in a piece describing efforts by Russia and China to gain access to vaccine research being done at U.S. universities and private companies. Since the whole world is struggling to get a vaccine as quickly as possible to bring the pandemic under control, it might have made sense to have a cooperative effort, where all research would be freely shared and any vaccines that are developed could be produced by any manufacturer with the capability to make it.

Instead, we went the route of restricting research access, which is both likely to slow down the development of effective vaccines and also lead to otherwise pointless security costs. It also is likely to mean that any vaccines that are developed will be expensive, since the producers will own patent monopolies that allow them to restrict access….”

It’s time to eliminate patents in universities | by Bruce Caron | Aug, 2020 | Medium

“In researching the forty years of allowing publicly funded primary research results to be patented in the US, what becomes clear is that for every success story there are scores of negative outcomes. The bureaucracy that universities build to capture the “value” of research as patents (Welpe et al. 2015), the administrative burden on researchers to conform their work to the process of patent-making (Stodden 2014; Graeber 2019), the perverse career pressure to produce more patents (Edwards and Roy 2017), the downstream roadblocks for sharing the research (NAS 2018): the entire ecosystem (or egosystem) of doing patents argues against their benefits to the academy. The underlying tension between the university’s long-term mission as a wellspring of new public knowledge and the market’s desire to acquire and privatize new discoveries remains at issue here (Foray and Lissoni 2010)….

The actual returns on research are mostly “postmarket” in value. Open sharing accelerates returns in the near term and compounds research value over time. Universities achieve their value proposition through a broad range of research and educational activities. The availability of market returns from patents for a small segment of university research threatens to warp the research opportunity landscape, and the normative internal incentives (including curiosity) for research (Strandberg 2005)….

Open science looks ahead to a future where the capacity to share research findings is optimized through scholarly commons, collaboratives that steward research goods through the decades, and across the planet (See: Scholarly commons; Also, Madison et al. 2009). Patents subtract intellectual property and value from these commons: “[T]o the extent that universities surround the work of their scientists with thickets of patents, the upshot can be what Heller and Eisenberg [1998] call a scientific ‘anticommons’ in which ideas and concepts that in the public domain might spur discovery and innovation are zealously guarded by the institutional owners who value income more than innovation” (Ginsberg 2011). Researchers may also shy away from research arenas where existing patents impede new research (Foray and Lissoni 2010)….

In the US, the repeal of Bayh-Dole — the act that permitted universities to patent federally-funded research — would open up old (and now, new), long-term research sharing capacities …”

Creative Commons Is Now Leading the Open COVID Pledge—Here’s What That Means

We’re pleased to announce today that Creative Commons is taking on leadership and stewardship of the Open COVID Pledge.

Earlier this year, CC joined forces with an international group of researchers, scientists, academics, and lawyers seeking to accelerate the development of diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics, medical equipment, and software solutions that might be used to assist in the fight against COVID-19. The result was the Open COVID Pledge, a project that offers a simple way for universities, companies, and others to make their patents and copyrights available to the public to be utilized in the current public health crisis.

Users of Creative Commons licenses will be familiar with the Open COVID Pledge’s approach. Like CC licenses, the Open COVID Pledge offers free, standard, public licenses that anyone can use to remove unnecessary obstacles to the dissemination of knowledge.

Amazon, Facebook, Fujitsu, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NASA JPL, Sandia National Laboratories, and Uber are among the dozens of companies and institutions that have used the Open COVID Pledge to make their patents and copyrights open to the public in support of solving the COVID-19 pandemic. As Creative Commons takes on this new leadership role in the project, we’re energized by the potential to expand its international scope, reach, and impact.

We’ll continue working with large companies to unlock their intellectual property (IP) rights in the pursuit of saving lives. But we also aim to team up with smaller startups, universities, and even individual innovators—especially in parts of the world that aren’t well-represented by the project’s current list of pledgors and supporters and that hold patents and other IP critical to the fight against  COVID-19. We’ll achieve this goal by collaborating with members of our worldwide community, including leading organizations in the international arena working on copyright and IP policy, such as the WHO and other UN bodies. We will also leverage the expertise and our deep relationships with the Creative Commons Global Network. Stay tuned for more information on these internationalization efforts, including ways to get involved in expanding the project in your country and region.

We believe this initiative will have a profound impact beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The common set of values, tools, and principles for the responsible use of IP in the public’s interest formed during this particular crisis can and should be used as a necessary model for addressing other crises, such as climate change. We hope to carry this conversation and model forward.

As CC takes on leadership and stewardship of the Open COVID Pledge, we are mindful of the many who contributed to its beginnings. In particular, we thank our co-collaborators for their expertise and collaboration in forging this project and helping it come to life. They have provided and will continue to provide critical strategic input into the future of this project and its growth. 

You can support the effort by encouraging your company, university, or research team to make the Open COVID Pledge. Visit opencovidpledge.org or contact us at ocpinfo@creativecommons.org for more information.

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