Policy ForumIntellectual Property

Patents, Secrecy, and DNA

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Science  13 Jul 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5528, pp. 217
DOI: 10.1126/science.1058032

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In this policy forum, Cook-Deegan and McCormack urge that DNA sequence information contained in patents be made publicly available soon after patent applications are filed. This will speed access to valuable data without undermining investment in subsequent development of DNA-based inventions. The authors further suggest that federal agencies and nonprofit funds consider adopting this policy as a condition of accepting their funders; private firms could adopt it as a norm to reduce duplication of effort and to accelerate innovation