burns at cbl.umd.edu
Fri Apr 7 12:24:45 EST 1995
On Wed, 5 Apr 1995, Patrick O'Neil wrote:
> I would think that you, in fact, cannot exchange info absolutely freely
> with other scientists since you do work for a company. How would the
> company react to you spilling trade secrets or providing information to
> others, and potential competitors, before they apply for a patent on some
> discovery or procedure? You are free to communicate insofar as it
> doesn't run counter to the interests of your employer.
I would have to agree with this statement. I am ethical opposed to the
patenting of scientific information because of the situation as described
Science works by a free exchange of information and sharing of
techniques. Patents prevent science from functioning as it ought to. When
a scientist/company receives a patent on a technique/organism, certain
questions are no longer allowed to be asked by the scientific community
(unless the patent holder agrees).
I feel the scientific community needs to address this issue. It has
been mentioned in some literature (see On Being a Scientist by NAS), but
never explored to any real depth.
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