Global Perspectives on Patent Law’s Private Ordering Frontier
Edited by Jorge L. Contreras and Meredith Jacob
Chapter 3: Patent sharing in biotechnology
More than half a decade ago, Sir Andrew Witty, the CEO of multinational life sciences company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), sketched out his vision for GSK which prominently included an Open Innovation Policy; for example, patent pooling in the area of diseases of developing nations—particularly neglected tropical diseases—as well as sharing non-patented technology, know-how and lead technologies. While some new research is conceivably supportive of Witty’s efforts, the idea that standard efforts of rival exclusion as epitomized by the assertion of patent rights may not be the only or even optimal way of leading to innovation has yet to find broad appeal in the industry. Many biotechnology companies, perhaps given the potential for large payoffs, persist in strongly asserting their intellectual property rights against their competitors.
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