Abstract: The importance of access to intellectual property rights (IPR) protected subject-matter in two crucial areas – public health, and educational and cultural engagement – has been extensively demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although they involve separate legal areas, patent and copyright, the common thread linking the two is intellectual property’s difficult relationship with access in the public interest. This paper examines the tensions caused by access barriers, the tools used to reduce them and their effectiveness. It is clear that the access barriers magnified by COVID-19 are not restricted to narrow or specific contexts but are widespread. They are created by, and are a feature of, our existing IPR frameworks. Open movements provide limited remedies because they are not designed to, nor can adequately address the wide range of access barriers necessary to promote the public interest. Existing legislative mechanisms designed to remove access barriers similarly fail to effectively remedy access needs. These existing options are premised on the assumption that there is a singular “public” motivated by homogenous “interests”, which fails to reflect the plurality and cross-border reality of the public(s) interest(s) underpinning the welfare goals of IPR. We conclude that a systemic re-evaluation is required and call for positive and equitable legal measures protective of the public(s) interest(s) to be built within IPR frameworks that also address non-IPR barriers. The current pandemic and development of a “new normal” provides a crucial opportunity to comprehensively consider the public(s) interest(s), not just during a global health crisis, but on an ongoing basis.
“We are a global, not-for-profit members’ organization working to lower barriers to innovation in life science and healthcare R&D through pre-competitive collaboration….
The Pistoia Alliance is a global, not-for-profit members’ organization conceived in 2007 and incorporated in 2009 by representatives of AstraZeneca, GSK, Novartis and Pfizer who met at a conference in Pistoia, Italy. This group shared the opinion that life science R&D was changing beyond recognition, and that organizations could not afford to ‘go it alone’ in order to integrate emerging technologies and continue to deliver life-changing therapies to patients. The Pistoia Alliance’s projects help to overcome common obstacles to innovation and to transform R&D – whether identifying the root causes of inefficiencies, working with regulators to adopt new standards, or helping researchers implement AI effectively. There are currently more than 100 member companies – ranging from global organisations, to medium enterprises, to start-ups, to individuals – collaborating as equals on projects that generate value for the worldwide life sciences community….”
“Following on from our previous post – summarising our discussion of inhibitions towards experimental publishing – this post looks at how we can stimulate experimentation, looking to understand how it can be encouraged within academic publishing and how some of the inhibitions described previously can be addressed. The following is a summary of our discussions.
Underlying our discussions were the following questions:
How can we stimulate the uptake of experimental publishing and the creation of experimental long-form publications, and the reuse of and engagement with OA books?
What projects/platforms/software do we need to be aware of and in touch with?
What strategies should we devise to stimulate experimentation and reuse?….”
“The mission of the eLife Innovation Initiative is to support a community of open innovators who are developing tools to change the ways we discover, consume, evaluate and share research. Through organising the eLife Innovation Sprint and participating in other community events, we have seen a wealth of ideas and prototypes supporting these goals, but we’ve also realised that many of these projects are often not sustained beyond the Sprint events at which they are conceived.
This motivated us to start our eLife Innovation Leaders programme, a five-month open leadership training and mentorship course designed to empower innovators in the open-source-for-open-science community, to help them to lead and develop their tools and projects openly, and to think more strategically about long term project sustainability. The curriculum covered key topics in project ideation, launch and growth, such as design thinking, user research, prototyping, team building and marketing. We believe that projects are more likely to be sustainable when they are “open by design”– that they encompass carefully-designed processes for others to contribute to, and collaboratively develop, the project together.”
“Qualitative data reuse has been made increasingly possible both through a proliferation of accessible data sources, and innovation in research methods. Over the last two decades there have been large scale investments in archives and repositories capturing a ‘tsunami’ of new data. Furthermore, there has been tremendous innovation in wide-ranging methods of qualitative data re-use (e.g. Irwin and Winterton, 2011; Davidson et al. 2018; Hughes et al. 2020; Jamieson and Lewthwaite, 2019; Tarrant and Hughes, 2019; Hughes and Tarrant, 2020). Not only are qualitative data important documents of human life, they are an endlessly creative resource that connect us to the much longer social histories of which we are part. As the lockdown makes traditional approaches to qualitative research challenging, now is an appropriate time for us to reconsider the tendency for primary data generation to be the ‘go to’ form of fieldwork and new research.”
“The questions GenR wants to ask in the context of COVID-19 are what challenges are driving innovation in the Open Science community involved in delivering and developing technical systems.
Open Science has been pushing forward on many fronts with systems, tools, and workflows for greater reproducibility, dissemination, and societal impact of new knowledge. …”
“One may see Open Science (which some prefer to call Open Research) as an altruistic movement towards opening up research methods and especially its outputs for the sake of their visibility and open availability to the wider society. The legitimate right for any citizen to read research outputs resulting from public funding is regularly raised by every Open Access advocate – including yours truly – when explaining the rationale for Open Science. Patients, schoolteachers, doctors are highlighted as the sort of citizens that may need to access scientific literature and may be forced to pay for such access unless we succeed in our push towards Open Science. And SMEs. Yes, one always mentions SMEs here as well. In fact anyone who happens to be outside the institutional subscription bubbles.
There is another take to Open Science though, a far more pragmatic and hence more likely to succeed approach. This other take, although not unconcerned with access to research results by the average citizen, is mostly about the possibility of exploiting the synergies between research and industry by making not only research results but other areas such as research facilities or expertise as openly available to industry (and the wider outside world) as possible. This is the approach driven by innovation that sees research and its commercial application as a continuum and understands the value of openness for the purpose of realising that continuum….”
From Google’s English: “Established indicators for research and innovation processes have so far insufficiently covered open science and open innovation. As a result, their chances and risks often remain in the fog. A new discussion paper therefore makes proposals for the extension of existing and the development of new indicators. We looked at possible innovations in the field of open science….”
“The background: OpenAIRE is a platform funded and supported by European Commission with the mission to shift scholarly communication towards openness and transparency and facilitate innovative ways to communicate and monitor research. The long term vision of OpenAIRE is to transform society through validated scientific knowledge allowing citizens, educators, funders, civil servants and industry to find ways to make science useful and comprehensive.
Open Innovation: OpenAIRE launches within the framework of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme, its Open Innovation programme to discover, support and fund innovative ideas and implementations of software in the Open Science domain. This is achieved by the mingle of external and internal ideas that will lead to the co-creation of fresh business ideas and the formation of an innovation ecosystem with would-be-entrepreneurs, startups and SMEs, closely related to OpenAIRE. The Open Innovation programme will select innovative projects in the field of Open Science to develop products and services linked to scholarly works, repositories, data management, OpenAIRE infrastructure and OpenAIRE services. Furthermore, ideas that make use of current assets available within OpenAIRE and create new services for the Open Science ecosystem (and EOSC) are welcome!
The challenges: Through this open call, OpenAIRE calls young innovators and SMEs to work on one of the following three challenges, so as to improve or to build on the current infrastructure, by picking up the one that fits best with your experience, skills, and motivation….”
“OpenAIRE is happy to announce its programme for Open Innovation!
OpenAIRE is looking for dynamic innovators to create fresh new business ideas! The objective of the Open Innovation Programme is to attract new stakeholders to address three identified challenges in OpenAIRE collaboratively:
- Next Generation Repositories
- Build value-added data products for OpenAIRE
- Enhance the current services of OpenAIRE…”
Abstract: Closed and proprietary infrastructures limit the accessibility of research, often putting paywalls in front of scientific knowledge. But they also severely limit reuse, preventing other tools from building on top of their software, data, and content. Using the example of Google Scholar, I will show how these characteristics of closed infrastructures impede innovation in the research workflow and create lock-in effects. I will also demonstrate how open infrastructures can help us move beyond this issue and create an ecosystem that is community-driven and community-owned. In this ecosystem, innovation thrives, as entry barriers are removed and systems can make use of each other’s components. Specific consideration will be given to open source services and non-profit frontends, as they are often overlooked by funders, but represent the way researchers engage with open science.
“Last week, Celgene – an American biotech company – invested the most ever for a Canadian-discovered early-stage drug. The US$40-million down and potentially US$1-billion deal only came about because of strategic funding by governments both for “open science” partnerships and for risk-taking, IP-generating research and commercialization centres. Open science partnerships openly share data and research results with the scientific community and do not seek patent rights over their results.
The Celgene deal is the fruit of a new innovation path – from open science to Canadian IP – that involves the Ontario government-funded Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) and its commercialization partner, FACIT Inc. This “made in Canada” approach does not copy U.S. approaches, which commonly result in Canadian IP rights being transferred to foreign firms for pennies on the dollar, as we are doing in the cases of Sidewalk Labs and investments in artificial intelligence. Rather, it leaves the IP in Canada for much longer, within a locally owned company that will continue to develop the drug and conduct clinical trials here, and thus extract fuller scientific and economic value from our investments….
Five years ago, OICR embraced open science as an early innovation strategy and partnered with the SGC. Both OICR and SGC appreciated that although IP is a key pillar of the innovation economy, seeking it too early or by the wrong entity creates barriers to collaboration, leads to redundant research, introduces significant transaction costs and, perhaps counterintuitively, slows down innovation. The open science collaboration allowed knowledge, materials and data to flow freely and enabled OICR and SGC to develop a new chemical probe against the WDR5 protein and to share it freely and rapidly with research groups around the world. Those groups revealed WDR5’s therapeutic role in leukemia, breast cancer and neuroblastoma….”
“But funding may be the least of [Japan’s] woes. In an era where open science is becoming a worldwide trend in scientific research, Japan may be missing out due to its deep-rooted country centrism which contrasts sharply with the openness of the top innovative economies, including Singapore….
Its Fifth Science and Technology Basic Plan in 2016 aims to make Japan the “most innovation-friendly country in the world”.
The report acknowledges that Japanese science and technology has been “limited to our national borders and is thus unable to explore its full potential”. It recommends key priorities such as the promotion of open science to better develop and secure intellectual professionals….”
“Open source software has been one of the greatest sources of innovation. Open source developers have built excellent software solutions for business, education and personal use. Free and open source programs give companies, schools, governments and users more choices, ensuring that they are getting the best possible technology for their needs. Unfortunately, the last decade has seen an enormous rise in software patent suits. Open source developers aren’t any more immune to this threat than other software vendors. However, the culture and innovation modality of open source software, based on engagement and sharing, made it natural to build a collective defensive solution to protect and enable it.
The Open Invention Network is a shared defensive patent pool with the mission to protect Linux….”
“One year ago, Elon Musk announced that Tesla would dismantle barriers to the use of its technology by “open sourcing” its patents and making them available for all acting in good faith to use. Because patents are usually used to close, not open, doors to competitors, the move created confusion and criticism.
But now, it also appears to have heralded a quiet revolution….
If an inventor wants to open her technology for others to innovate without worrying about permissions, there is no way to guarantee that the Patent Office will not issue a patent over the technology to a later applicant….
The patent system should pay more attention to supporting the rights of patentees to enable rather than to forbid, others from practicing patentable inventions, and to sell or waive certain patent rights or rights among certain populations. For example, if a patent holder wants to retain only rights to exclude larger competitors, or to waive all but defensive rights, enabling free use by green, humanitarian, educational, or start-up projects, for examples, it should be possible to do so. But presently, there are no easy ways to do so….
In the United States we too should explore the idea of creating one or more “open” patent options that would allow inventors to share their technology broadly while still retaining rights, for example, to enforce patents for defensive uses. We should make it easier to waive and dedicate patent rights to the public….”