- Q. How do you believe or hope the US and International patent systems will react/adapt to work with new BioBricks (parts with their descriptions) and new registries? Is this reaction necessarily opposed to a constructive/sharing/open community (which I believe to maximize the benefits of the technology to society)? -- User:Marshallreaves @ The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State
- A. This is a serious question with a complicated answer (b/c there is not a real working answer right now). Basically, it's not clear what legal framework is best for BioBricks. There are 5 possibilities: (1) Patents, (2) Copyright, (3) Contract, (4) Public Domain, (5) Sui generis. Each possibility has strengths and weaknesses. For example, patents are used now (good) but are expensive and slow and therefore exclusive (bad). As a second example, copyright is cheap and easy to use (good) but is not now used for sequence information and, if misused, might last longer than patents (bad). Another complication is that the cost of making a part can vary greatly from one part to the next. Some parts are just a few hours to make, other parts require person-years worth of work. So, it feels like whatever legal framework is used, it needs to be adaptive / responsive to the varied costs involved with producing standard biological parts (e.g., costs of invention or discovery, costs of refinement to make compatible with existing parts, cost to workaround a currently patented part). There's some additional information online here and a good paper to read here.
- Q. What is this?
- A. A page of questions and answers!