Dealing with patent fragmentation in ICT and genetics: Patent pools and clearing houses

Geertrui Van Overwalle, Esther Van Zimmeren, Birgit Verbeure, Gert Matthijs


Recent years have shown a remarkable increase of patents in the field of ICT and genetics. The omnipresence of patents in those areas has raised serious concerns about access to and use of ICT and genome related inventions, as the expansion of patents in those fields might result in a patent thicket. Collaborative licensing models, such as patent pools and clearing houses, have attracted great attention, as they might serve as a mechanism to deal with patent thickets in ICT and genetics and facilitate access to ICT and genomic patents. It remains to be seen to what extent the lessons from the collaborative rights experiments in ICT and genetics, can be applied in a cyberinfrastructure setting.

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