Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientific results: to patent or publish?

01.03.2002


A Commission survey on the patenting and publication by EU scientists and organisations from industry and academia involved in biotechnology and genetic engineering research, that highlights the need for support to and training of academics in the proper use of the patent system. Public research organisations can handle patent applications almost as professionally as industrial organisations and without significantly delaying the publication of results that are subject to patent applications. In contrast, among scientists who have not used the patent system yet there is the belief that patenting would considerably delay publication. The survey also points towards the needs of academics and SMEs for an effective and affordable patent system, such as proposed through the Commission proposal on a Community patent. This issue is part of the proposed strategy for the biotechnology sector which is on the agenda of the March 2002 Barcelona European Council.



Commenting on these findings Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin said: “It is quite clear that small and innovative companies as well as young researchers need European patent protection. This is particularly true for fast moving sectors such as biotechnology, where Europe has a real chance to become a world player and to create employment. The Commission has stated clearly in its strategic plan for life sciences that a level playing field is needed in patent protection in industrialised countries.”

Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein added ”This survey once again underlines the demand for cheap and easily accessible patent protection valid throughout the EU. It is therefore vital that our proposal for a Community Patent is adopted urgently”.


Research institutes, universities and small biotech companies, which are major contributors to innovation in the life sciences, frequently face a conflict between the urge to quickly disclose research results to the scientific community and/or investors and at the same time the need to file for patent applications. These conflicting priorities to patent or publish can delay the publication of scientific results and hinder the rapid dissemination of scientific knowledge, thereby slowing scientific progress. Yet, the patent system ensures the publication of results that might otherwise be kept secret, especially for inventions made in industry.

The survey, which is part of the reporting requirements of the EU directive on the protection of biotechnology inventions (98/44) , probed whether delays can be observed in scientific publication on patentable subjects in genetic engineering research and, if so, what policy measures could be taken to remedy negative implications. The summary of the survey results, based on the response of 202 genetic engineering researchers and institutions from industry and public research all over Europe, is presented in annex 1.

The survey shows that academia favours a grace period whereas industry is against it. The report concludes that “efforts to define and harmonise the concept of the grace period should be considered”. In view of the strong increase in international research collaboration and technology transfer, international harmonisation of the grace period is a major issue for science and technology policy. The Research Directorate-General therefore plans to discuss this issue with representatives from the European Research Community, both academia and industrial, in particular in view of the on-going negotiations at the World International Property Organisation ”

Stéphane Hogan | alphagalileo

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Tracing the evolution of vision
23.08.2019 | University of Göttingen

nachricht Caffeine does not influence stingless bees
23.08.2019 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Hamburg and Kiel researchers observe spontaneous occurrence of skyrmions in atomically thin cobalt films

Since their experimental discovery, magnetic skyrmions - tiny magnetic knots - have moved into the focus of research. Scientists from Hamburg and Kiel have now been able to show that individual magnetic skyrmions with a diameter of only a few nanometres can be stabilised in magnetic metal films even without an external magnetic field. They report on their discovery in the journal Nature Communications.

The existence of magnetic skyrmions as particle-like objects was predicted 30 years ago by theoretical physicists, but could only be proven experimentally in...

Im Focus: Physicists create world's smallest engine

Theoretical physicists at Trinity College Dublin are among an international collaboration that has built the world's smallest engine - which, as a single calcium ion, is approximately ten billion times smaller than a car engine.

Work performed by Professor John Goold's QuSys group in Trinity's School of Physics describes the science behind this tiny motor.

Im Focus: Quantum computers to become portable

Together with the University of Innsbruck, the ETH Zurich and Interactive Fully Electrical Vehicles SRL, Infineon Austria is researching specific questions on the commercial use of quantum computers. With new innovations in design and manufacturing, the partners from universities and industry want to develop affordable components for quantum computers.

Ion traps have proven to be a very successful technology for the control and manipulation of quantum particles. Today, they form the heart of the first...

Im Focus: Towards an 'orrery' for quantum gauge theory

Experimental progress towards engineering quantized gauge fields coupled to ultracold matter promises a versatile platform to tackle problems ranging from condensed-matter to high-energy physics

The interaction between fields and matter is a recurring theme throughout physics. Classical cases such as the trajectories of one celestial body moving in the...

Im Focus: A miniature stretchable pump for the next generation of soft robots

Soft robots have a distinct advantage over their rigid forebears: they can adapt to complex environments, handle fragile objects and interact safely with humans. Made from silicone, rubber or other stretchable polymers, they are ideal for use in rehabilitation exoskeletons and robotic clothing. Soft bio-inspired robots could one day be deployed to explore remote or dangerous environments.

Most soft robots are actuated by rigid, noisy pumps that push fluids into the machines' moving parts. Because they are connected to these bulky pumps by tubes,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

The power of thought – the key to success: CYBATHLON BCI Series 2019

16.08.2019 | Event News

4th Hybrid Materials and Structures 2020 28 - 29 April 2020, Karlsruhe, Germany

14.08.2019 | Event News

What will the digital city of the future look like? City Science Summit on 1st and 2nd October 2019 in Hamburg

12.08.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Making small intestine endoscopy faster with a pill-sized high-tech camera

23.08.2019 | Medical Engineering

More reliable operation offshore wind farms

23.08.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tracing the evolution of vision

23.08.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>