Sunday, October 30, 2016

Patent Trolls Undermine Open Access; Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), 10/28/16

Elliot Harmon, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF); Patent Trolls Undermine Open Access:
"...[E]ven as university research becomes accessible to a wider public, some of that same research is falling into the hands of patent trolls, companies that serve no purpose but to amass patents and sue innovators who independently created similar inventions. When universities file patents on inventions that arise from scientific research and then sell those patents to trolls, it puts a strain on innovation. That’s why EFF recently launched Reclaim Invention, a campaign to encourage universities to adopt policies not to sell or license patents to trolls...
As the open access movement continues to grow and mature, we hope to see open access allies on campus begin to take on their institutions’ patenting policies. University patenting and licensing policies directly affect how researchers’ outputs will be used in the field. The same arguments that have given way to the explosion of open access publishing also apply to patents—just as researchers shouldn’t trust their work with publishers that don’t have the public’s interest at heart, their institutions shouldn’t sell patents to trolls out for nothing but a quick buck. Instead, they should partner with companies that will bring their inventions to the public.
After all, the public paid for it."

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