RESOURCES: Breaking the Patent Barrier

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Science  16 Sep 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5742, pp. 1795
DOI: 10.1126/science.309.5742.1795c

Biotech patents can stymie researchers in the developing world who are trying to solve local problems. BioForge, launched earlier this year, creates a forum in which scientists from north and south can collaborate to devise alternatives. The site is part of the BIOS initiative, which aims to apply the open-source model that has fostered software innovation to problems such as food production and environmental degradation. The idea is to get visitors to brainstorm about biotechnologies that would be available to anyone who promises to share any improvements. BioForge also links to resources such as the PatentLens, a database of more than 1.5 million life science patents and patent applications.

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