Redesigning Life and Issues of Intellectual Property

A session at PICNIC'10

Wednesday 22nd September, 2010

3:45pm to 5:15pm (AMT)

Do we need an open source revolution in biotechnology?

Patents are supposed to benefit the public good by providing innovators a temporary monopoly on their invention(s), in exchange for disclosing that invention so that others may learn from it. But in practice the situation seems quite the opposite. Since life science researchers were encouraged in the 1980s to patent their discoveries for the sake of the knowledge economy, the number of patents proliferated to such extend that IP is blocking rather than enabling downstream developments. A phenomenon also referred to as the “tragedy of the anticommons”: a bad situation for common people, scientists and the economy.

Can this tragedy be prevented by adapting open source strategies in the biotech industry? And if so, what does a biotech revolution for 21st century look like?

Bio Philosopher Ellen ter Gast will discuss these issues with Robert Carlson, author of Biology is Technology, the promise, peril and new business of engineering life, who will kick off the session with a short intro and Rik Zagers, legal expert on IP at Hogan Lovells.

About the speaker

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Ellen ter Gast

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Netherlands Netherlands, Amsterdam

22nd24th September 2010

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Time 3:45pm5:15pm AMT

Date Wed 22nd September 2010

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