Policy ForumScience and the Law

Working Through the Patent Problem

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Science  14 Feb 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5609, pp. 1021
DOI: 10.1126/science.299.5609.1021

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Interviews with personnel from firms, universities, and other organizations indicate that biomedical research typically proceeds despite challenges posed by a growing number of patents on research tools. Respondents address these challenges with licensing, inventing around patents, going offshore, the development and use of public databases and research tools, court challenges, and simply using the technology without a license (i.e., infringement), often informally invoking a de facto broad "research exemption."