Genetic Inventions, Intellectual Property Rights and Licensing Practices

Genetic Inventions, Intellectual Property Rights and Licensing Practices

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21 Jan 2003
9789264034730 (PDF)

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Few topics in the life sciences today provoke as much debate as the availability of patent protection on "genetic inventions". Some hold that protection is essential to encourage innovation and development of new products. Others argue that patents restrict access to the very innovations they are intended to promote. Yet others object to property rights at all for our genetic blueprint. This report presents the findings of an OECD Workshop held in Berlin to establish the impact of patents and licensing on development and access to genetic technology. The workshop drew on empirical studies and concluded that despite sometimes controversial licensing practices the patent system has broadly achieved what is intended. The report provides recommendations to policy makers for improving the functioning of the licensing system.

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