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Anyone in the synthetic biology community is welcome to attend.

Wednesday September 5, 2007 at 12:00pm EST

32-D463, MIT

Topic of discussion

Ken Oye and Rachel Wellhausen will lead a discussion on the Intellectual Commons and Property Rights


"Research on" research exemption - allowed to do research on a protected thing

"Research with" research exemption - allowed to do research using a protected thing. Most countries do not permit the "research with" exemption because then there is little private incentive to develop research tools. Belgium recently explicitly affirmed both the "research on" and the "research with" exemption.

In the U.S., a 2002 court decision (Madey vs Duke) limits use of protected IP to experiments "for amusement, to satisfy idle curiosity, or for strictly philosophical inquiry". Legally, you're also not allowed to use protected IP even in teaching. In practice, most people ignore protected IP during their academic research and teaching.

Prior art generally must be printed on paper in a journal. Technically, documents on the internet may not count as prior art.

What's cheaper to file a patent application or to challenge a patent? To submit a prior art claim on a pending patent, it costs about $100. Challenging an issued patent costs much more because essentially, you must take it to court. Anyone who is serious about challenging an issued patent goes to court. They don't bother with the patent office. TK offered to cover the $100 fee for anyone who wants to challenge a pending patent in synthetic biology. :)

Depending on how a patent is used against an infringer, it can limit how it can be used against a second infringer. This narrowing is called a "binder". (from Bill Flanagan)