Patent costs

William R. Pearson wrp at biochsn.acc.Virginia.EDU
Wed Oct 9 11:23:37 EST 1991

In article <harper.686996953 at finsun> harper at (Robert Harper) writes:
>In <9110081649.AA03460 at> devereux at GCG.COM writes:
>>6) no substantial amount of genome money is going to patenting sequence data
>>at this time.  the decision to patent is made by the investigator and her
>>institution and costs are normally born by the institution.  because the
>>cost is substantial the institution is unlikely to make frivolous
>**********************  CLIP from New Scientist ********************
>New Scientist 7th Sept 1991 No 1785 page 22. 
>Title "Genome funds 'wasted' on patents.
>Walter Bodmer, the president of HUGO, told the BA that American
>researchers funded by federal agencies, including the NIH and DOE
>are filing patents for some 1000 partial sequences of human genetic 
>material each month. With each application costing $30, this amounts
>to some $30,000 a month. The initial cost of patenting is double 
>the cost of sequencing.
>% Robert Harper                   %   HARPER at FINFUN   %   HARPER at CSC.FI   %

	These two statements are not contradictory.  At most
institutions, the cost of a patent filing would be borne by the
institutions patent foundation, which, in general, receives next to no
funds from the institution.  Certainly no research funds or overhead
funds.  (It is kept at arms length for a variety of reasons that
researchers at State institutions understand.)

	I'm not sure where this $30 per patent figure comes from.  It is
my understanding that it costs more like $50,000 to file a patent (lawyers
fees, searches, who knows what).  I doubt whether many researchers are
spending $50,000,000 a month on patent filings.

Bill Pearson

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