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 X-ray scattering shines light on protein folding
10.07.2020 | The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

nachricht Surprisingly many peculiar long introns found in brain genes
10.07.2020 | Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The spin state story: Observation of the quantum spin liquid state in novel material

New insight into the spin behavior in an exotic state of matter puts us closer to next-generation spintronic devices

Aside from the deep understanding of the natural world that quantum physics theory offers, scientists worldwide are working tirelessly to bring forth a...

Im Focus: Excitation of robust materials

Kiel physics team observed extremely fast electronic changes in real time in a special material class

In physics, they are currently the subject of intensive research; in electronics, they could enable completely new functions. So-called topological materials...

Im Focus: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

Im Focus: The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...

Im Focus: Gentle wall contact – the right scenario for a fusion power plant

Quasi-continuous power exhaust developed as a wall-friendly method on ASDEX Upgrade

A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

International conference QuApps shows status quo of quantum technology

02.07.2020 | Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

X-ray scattering shines light on protein folding

10.07.2020 | Life Sciences

Looking at linkers helps to join the dots

10.07.2020 | Materials Sciences

Surprisingly many peculiar long introns found in brain genes

10.07.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>