Patentleft

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Patentleft (also patent left, copyleft-style patent license) is the practice of licensing patents (especially biological patents) for royalty-free use, on the condition that adopters license related improvements they develop under the same terms. Copyleft-style licensors seek "continuous growth of a universally accessible technology commons" from which they, and others, will benefit.[1]

Patentleft is analogous to copyleft, a license which allows distribution of a copyrighted work and derived works, but only under the same terms.

Uses[edit]

The Biological Innovation for Open Society (BIOS) project implemented a patentleft system to encourage re-contribution and collaborative innovation of their technology. BIOS holds a patented technology for transferring genes in plants, and licenses the technology under the terms that, if a license holder improves the gene transfer tool and patents the improvement, then their improvement must be made available to all the other license holders. [2]

Example[edit]

Person A has a patent, and licenses it under a patentleft license.

Person B has two patents in her product and wants to use Person A's patents in that product. Person B also wants to charge royalties for her two patents. She decides to use Person A's patent, but now must license her patents, royalty-free, under the same terms as Person A's patent.

Person C has three patents in his product and wants to use Person B's two patents in that product, but doesn't want to use Person A's patent. Person C also wants to charge royalties for his three patents. He decides to use Person B's patent, but now must license his patents, royalty-free, under the same terms as Person A's patent.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hope, Janet (2008). Biobazaar: The Open Source Revolution and Biotechnology. Harvard University Press. pp. 176–187. doi:10.1007/b62130. ISBN 978-0-674-02635-3. 
  2. ^ John T. Wilbanks and Thomas J. Wilbanks, "Science, Open Communication and Sustainable Development", 13 April 2010, "[1]"

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]