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 New eDNA technology used to quickly assess coral reefs
18.04.2019 | University of Hawaii at Manoa

nachricht New automated biological-sample analysis systems to accelerate disease detection
18.04.2019 | Polytechnique Montréal

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

Im Focus: Researchers 3D print metamaterials with novel optical properties

Engineers create novel optical devices, including a moth eye-inspired omnidirectional microwave antenna

A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printed metamaterials with unique microwave or optical properties that go beyond what is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

New automated biological-sample analysis systems to accelerate disease detection

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

18.04.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New eDNA technology used to quickly assess coral reefs

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>