Patents on Research Tools

John Walsh jwalsh at uic.edu
Mon Mar 11 13:35:26 EST 2002


Patents on Research Tools

I am studying the effects of patenting on university research.  This
project is funded by the National Science Foundation and the National
Academy of Sciences' Science and Technology Policy Board.  There has been
substantial concern raised about the possibility that patents on research
tools (such as genes, receptors, vectors, antibodies, assays, etc.) for
biomedical research may prohibit otherwise viable research projects.
However, my interviews to this point have found very little evidence that
this is occuring.
If you have any direct experience with a research project that was stopped
because you were unable to get access to patented research tools or
materials due to difficulties in negotiating the terms of access, I would
like to hear about it.  Similarly, if you have had projects delayed
because of access negotiations, that would also be useful information.
Please email me (jwalsh at uic.edu) or call 312-996-4663.
I would be happy to post a summary of the responses if there is interest
(keeping confidential any identifying information).
I appreciate your assistance.
Sincerely,
John Walsh
Associate Professor of Sociology
University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, IL 60607
USA

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