Making Research Tools More Accessible

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Science  12 Jun 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5370, pp. 1687-1688
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5370.1687b

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A working group on biomedical property claims suggested last week that leaders at the National Institutes of Health use the "bully pulpit" to suggest guidelines for ways that NIH might free up its grantees to share new research tools. The panel also endorsed some basic principles, such as encouraging scientists to share such tools freely without resorting to legal agreements "whenever possible, especially when the prospect of commercial gain is remote," using standard agreements to cover sharing of materials among nonprofit labs, and giving all grantees a set of guidelines on what NIH considers to be "reasonable terms" for licensing patents and sharing tools.