Patent Pools: A Solution to the Problem of Access in Biotechnology Patents?
As the United States has become a world leader in biotechnology innovation, biotechnology has become an increasingly important industry to the American economy in the 21st century. The biotechnology industry is heavily dependent on patent protection to maintain viability. Some have cautioned, however, that access to patented technologies in this area may impede the development of other vital products and processes, which access is needed for research for new drugs, tests and therapies to improve the quality of life and health care in the United States.
Q. Todd Dickinson, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, recognized that certain limitations on access may create concerns. Consequently, he commissioned the following White Paper which describes how patent pooling, as one of many possible ways to address access, could be used to promote reasonable access to patented biotechnology, thereby promoting research and development while also promoting competition through patenting.
Comments regarding this white paper should be directed to the main authors: Jeanne Clark by phone (703) 306-5603 or by e-mail addressed to Jeanne.Clark@USPTO.gov; Karin Tyson by phone (703) 306-3159 or by e-mail addressed to Karin.Tyson@USPTO.gov; and Brian Stanton by phone (703) 308-2801 or by e-mail addressed to Brian.Stanton@USPTO.gov.
/Stephen G. Kunin/
Stephen G. Kunin January 19, 2001
for Patent Examination Policy