FFAR awards $1 million grant to create open source technology for gene discovery in plants | Crops | hpj.com

“The starting point will be approximately 1,000 human kinase inhibitors carefully selected from a library of chemical compounds donated to the partnership from eight pharmaceutical companies. The set will be distributed without restriction to scientists studying other plants and traits, thus serving as a broadly useful platform. The team has agreed to operate under open access principles —specifically prohibiting filing for IP on any of the results and will communicate the results widely….”

“Patent-Based Open Science” by Lee Petherbridge

Abstract:  The contemporary approach to innovation in the life sciences relies on a patent-based proprietary model. Limitations on patent rights and business concerns often focus innovation to markets where the near-term monetary rewards are highest. This is “efficient” under an austere understanding of the term, but the proprietary model can be problematic from a practical perspective because it may not focus innovation to certain deserving markets. This Article contends that the property rights conferred by patent law may still serve as a positive base for innovation directed to underserved markets. The comparatively strong rights conferred by patent law provide upstream or pioneering innovators the power to establish some of the environmental conditions in which subsequent innovation takes place. This includes a power to create an environment of relatively open access to rights, which in appropriate cases may foster efficiency gains, reduce innovation suppressive costs, and achieve production for ultimate consumers at closer to marginal cost. In several parts, this paper discusses the topography of law and innovation in the life sciences, the characteristics of innovation in the life sciences that may support the use of patents to impose an “open science” framework, a legal means of imposing such a framework using servitudes, and some of the legal and economic implications of using patents in this manner. This Article concludes that there are reasons why universities and research-oriented medical schools should sometimes favor this approach and that limited testing should be performed to determine the efficacy of the approach.

Open Insulin Project

“We’re a team of Bay Area biology nerds who believe that insulin should be freely available to anybody who needs it. So, we’re developing the first freely available, open protocol for insulin production. We hope our research will be the basis for generic production of this life-saving drug. Additionally, we hope our work inspires other biohackers to band together and create things nobody has ever thought of before!…”

L’ouverture des brevets de la recherche, un tabou pour l’Open Science ? – – S.I.Lex –

From Google’s English: “But something always strikes me in these Open Science models: they leave aside an essential dimension of the research process (at least in some disciplines), namely the question of the management of rights over inventions and deposition of patents. It is as if Open Science always stops at the gates of industrial property and the question of the openness and free re-use of inventions remains a kind of taboo….”

A trust approach for sharing research reagents | Science Translational Medicine

Abstract:  The core feature of trusts—holding property for the benefit of others—is well suited to constructing a research community that treats reagents as public goods.

[From the body of the article:] “Under an open science trust, reagents are treated as a public-good resource governed by principles that promote the public interest, in this case, open science. Our open science trust agreement codifies these public-good principles. Under its terms, a recipient of research reagents becomes a “trustee” of the reagents. Trustees are bound by principles that specifically prohibit filing any patent claims that would restrict use of the reagents by others. The result is to create and expand an open science community connected by a common commitment to the foundational aims of the reagent generators.


A trust is a legal relationship whereby one party—called the trustee—is given control over property but must use it for the benefit of others—called the beneficiaries. In this regard, a trust contrasts with direct legal ownership over property, which allows owners to use the property for their own ends and to prevent others from using or benefiting from it. That is how we normally think about tangible goods such as real estate and intangible ones such as patented biomedical inventions.


A trust places a duty on those who possess entrusted assets to manage those assets for the benefit of particular third parties or, in the case of charitable trusts, in furtherance of particular objects that benefit the public. Trusts are created by appointing trustees under a legal document that enumerates specific obligations in dealing with trust property. Private trusts—those with individual beneficiaries—are often used for tax and estate planning purposes. Charitable trusts, by contrast, are dedicated to serving the public, as opposed to particular individuals, and must have definite charitable objects that guide the trustee’s use of trust property. In effect, the “public” constitutes the beneficiary of a charitable trust. Charitable trusts are often administered by a group of trustees whose joint efforts to further the aims of the trust can foster a communal sense of purpose….”

How expiring patents are ushering in the next generation of 3D printing | TechCrunch

“The year 2016 is quickly shaping up to be one of the hottest years on record for 3D printing innovations. Although there is still a lot of hype surrounding 3D printing and how it may or may not be the next industrial revolution, one thing is for certain: the cost of printing will continue to drop while the quality of 3D prints continues to rise.

This development can be traced to advanced 3D printing technologies becoming accessible due to the expiration of key patents on pre-existing industrial printing processes….”

More 3D Printing Patents Are Expiring Soon: Here’s a Roundup – 3D Printing Industry

“A few years ago, the expiration of many key 3D printing patents had the 3D printing community abuzz.  The 3D printing patents that expired in the 2013-15 timeframe are described here.  At that time, many articles challenged the conventional wisdom that intellectual property drives innovation by creating competition, since the existence of IP forces workarounds.  Those articles argue that patents prevented innovation in 3D printing because the fear of being sued led to a lack of investment in 3D printing R&D, and that patent litigation hindered the adoption of the technology.  The end result, some believe, is that IP creates barriers to entry for new market players, minimizes competition, and keeps prices artificially high.


The expiration of several key 3D printing patents in 2013, 2014, and 2015 was supposed to change the industry.  So what happened?  Did the expiration of those patents lead to market growth, reduction in prices, and new products?  Or were other forces, such as the technology itself, holding back new 3D printing technologies?  Are there other 3D printing patents that will expire soon that could have similar effects?  Although it is still too early to give definitive answers to these questions, this article describes developments in the 3D printing industry since the expiration of some of the so-called key patents and discusses 3D printing patents that have or will expire soon….”

Free Inactive Patent Search — 100% Free Inactive Patent Information

“To find patents that have merely expired you can simply set your search terms to look for patents that are 20 years old or older. However, finding a list of inactive patents is far more challenging. This website overcomes that challenge as it allows you to search through all inactive patents in the U.S. that are less than 20 years old. We created this database to help drive open source hardware (OSH) development. Our previous work has found that patents should be significantly weakened as they are actively retarding innovation and technical progress. By properly valuing open hardware development it is clear that the return on investment for OSH development is enormous. In addition, proactive measures to defend the public domain can also provide more safe space for innovators to operate. Our hope is that this database accelerates your open hardware development.

For more information please see the article published in Inventions (2016): Open Source Database and Website to Provide Free and Open Access to Inactive U.S. Patents in the Public Domain. doi: 10.3390/inventions1040024 …”