Can Patents Deter Innovation? The. Anticommons in Biomedical Research The tragedy of the anticommons is the underuse of a scare resource because the. Can patents deter innovation?: An empirical analysis of the anti-commons effect in the academic biomedical research in Milan Paperback – January 16, Heller and Eisenberg are reacting, in large part, to the growth of patenting within in biomedical science (see Murray () for more detail on.

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Content is available under Creative Commons Attribution 3. This page was last modified on 11 Octoberat In fact, it’s argument is carefully crouched in terms of the problems of patents in aggregate. Their core argument is that the anticommons emerges when the rights necessary to practice research are split up among a large number, and a large variety, of different researchers.

They explain quite clearly that, “the tragedy of the anticommons refers to the more complex obstacles that arise when a user needs access to multiple patented inputs to create a single useful output.

The metaphor of the anticommons has become a frequently cited in the areas of open innovation, arguments in favor of open science, and critiques of the patent system more generally.


Can patents deter innovation? The anticommons in biomedical research

Published in Science inHeller and Eisenberg frame their argument explicitly in terms of Hardin’s desearch piece of The tragedy of the commons and applied to biomedical research although it has been used and cited as relevant more broadly. They use examples of patents on concurrent fragments which they suggest may be creating thickets and reach-through licensing agreements to make this point.

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The article is often treated as argument against particular patents. In that sense, Murray and Stern’s article econometric article testing the hypothesis is a somewhat rough match for the ptents offered.

Heller and Eisenberg are reacting, in large part, to the growth of patenting within in biomedical science see Murray for more detail on case study of this in the area of mouse-research. Theoretical and practical relevance: Retrieved from ” https: The anticommons in biomedical research.

Heller and Eisenberg’s article has been cited more than 1, times in the last 12 years and has become a major article in the literature critical of patents in science. The article was also tested by Walsh et al. Help How to edit FAQ.


Eisenberg Can patents deter innovation? New Recent Changes Featured Summaries. That said, the article seems to be somewhat missued by a number of “downstream” academics citing it.

They argue that just as too much open access to an expendable public resource can create a tragedy of the commons, too much ownership — especially an intellectual domain — can create thickets that limit the progress anticommoons science more broadly.

They argue that, “privatization can solve one tragedy but cause another.

Can Patents Deter Innovation? The Anticommons in Biomedical Research

They end by describing why different types of organizations i. Privacy policy About AcaWiki Disclaimers. This essentially introduces a set of complex collective action problems beyond those introduced by patent licensing which they suggest may create an important barrier to scientific progress.