Advertisement

Towards an Intellectual Property Clearinghouse for Agricultural Biotechnology

  • Gregory Graff
  • David Zilberman
Part of the Natural Resource Management and Policy book series (NRMP, volume 27)

Abstract

Much of the critique of patent systems for hindering research has focused on the scope or definition of what is patentable. We suggest, rather, that by focusing on the exchange of existing patent rights, significant improvements in freedom-to-operate can be achieved regardless of the state of patent reform. Historically, in other industries, when IP congestion has threatened productivity, both government and industry groups have intervened, forming collective rights organizations such as patent pools and royalty clearinghouses that have provided freedom to operate with substantial savings for whole industries. Furthermore, today’s advances in information technology have created new tools, “IP informatics” and “online IP exchanges,” which provide interesting new organizational possibilities for collective intellectual property rights organizations. The goal of an “intellectual property clearinghouse” for agricultural biotechnologies would be to reduce transaction costs and other market failures that hinder the exchange of IP, creating pathways through the patent thicket and giving freedom to operate with proprietary biotechnologies.

Key words

agricultural biotechnology intellectual property market failures market institutions patent pooling technology transfer 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Arora, A., Fosfuri, A., and Gambardella, A., 2004, Markets for Technology: The Economics of Innovation and Corporate Strategy, MIT Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  2. Bennett, A. B., 2000, Intellectual property in agricultural biotechnology: Fueling the fire or smothering the flame. Presented at the conference Biotechnology and the Public Interest: Prospects of Biotechnology in the Developing and Developed World, University of California (April 28, 2000), Berkeley.Google Scholar
  3. Byerlee, D., and Fischer, K., 2001, Accessing modern science: Policy and institutional options for agricultural biotechnology in developing countries, IP Strategy Today (1):1–27.Google Scholar
  4. Clark, J., Piccolo, J., Stanton, B., and Tyson, K., 2000, Patent pools: A solution to the problem of access in biotechnology patents? U.S.P.T.O., white paper, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Washington, D. C.Google Scholar
  5. The Economist, 2000, A market for monopoly? The Economist (June 17, 2000):59–60.Google Scholar
  6. Enriquez, J., and Goldberg, R. A., 2000, Transforming life, transforming business: The life-science revolution, Harvard Bus. Rev. 78(2):96–104.Google Scholar
  7. Graff, G. D., Cullen, S. E., Bradford, K. J., Zilberman, D., and Bennett, A. B., 2003, The public-private structure of intellectual property ownership in agricultural biotechnology, Nature Biotech. 21(9):989–995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Graff, G. D., Rausser, G. R., and Small, A. A., 2003, Agricultural biotechnology’s complementary intellectual assets, Rev. Econ. Stat. 85(2):349–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Heller, M. A., and Eisenberg, R. S., 1998, Can patents deter innovation? The anticommons in biomedical research, Science, 280:698–701.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Herdt, R. W., 1999, Enclosing the global plant genetic commons, presented at the Institute for International Studies, Stanford University (January 14, 1999), Stanford, California.Google Scholar
  11. Kaplan, S., and Sawhney, M., 2000, E-hubs: The new B2B marketplaces: Toward a taxonomy of business models, Harvard Bus. Rev. 78(3):97–103.Google Scholar
  12. Kryder, R. D., Kowalksi, S. P., and Krattiger, A. F., 2000, The intellectual and technical property components of pro-vitamin A rice (Golden Rice): A preliminary framework-to-operate review, ISAAA Briefs No. 20, International Service for the Acquisition of Agribiotech Applications (ISAAA), Ithaca.Google Scholar
  13. Merges, R. P., 1996, Contracting into liability rules: Intellectual property rights and collective rights organizations, California Law Rev. 84:1293–1393.Google Scholar
  14. Prakash, C. S., 2000, Intellectual capital: Hungry for biotech, MIT Tech. Rev. 103(4):32.MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  15. Press, E., and Washburn, J., 2000, The kept university, The Atlantic Monthly, 285(3):39–54.Google Scholar
  16. Shapiro, C, 2000, Navigating the patent thicket: Cross-licenses, patent pools, and standard-setting. Presented at the conference, Innovation Policy and the Economy, National Bureau of Economic Research (April 11, 2000), Washington, D. C.Google Scholar
  17. Shulman, S., 2000, Toward sharing the genome, MIT Tech. Rev. 103(5):60–67.Google Scholar
  18. U. S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, 1995, Antitrust guidelines for the licensing of intellectual property (April 6, 1995); http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/public/guidelines/ipguide.htm.Google Scholar
  19. Wright, B. D., 2001, Challenges for public agricultural research and extension in a world of proprietary science and technology, in: Knowledge Generation and Transfer: Implications for Agriculture in the 21st Century, S. Wolf and D. Zilberman, eds., Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, pp. 63–78.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregory Graff
    • 1
  • David Zilberman
    • 2
  1. 1.Visiting Postdoctoral Researcher, Agricultural and Resource EconomicsUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Professor, Agricultural and Resource EconomicsUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

Personalised recommendations