How to Get a Fair Share: IP Policies for Publicly Supported Biobanks

15 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009

See all articles by Brenda M. Simon

Brenda M. Simon

California Western School of Law; University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Date Written: June 3, 2009


To realize the benefits of personalized medicine, many have argued that large-scale participation in biobanks is necessary. Participants with expectations of benefit beyond the advancement of science may refuse to contribute if they feel they are being exploited. Even if participants, on an individual basis, are unaware or unconcerned with a biobank’s intellectual property policies, governments negotiating access to data and providing support for biobanks should seek an equitable arrangement on their citizens’ behalf. The imprimatur of government sponsorship, potential for conflicts of interest, and costs associated with publicly supported projects highlight the importance of striking a fair deal among the government, researchers, and participants in publicly supported biobanking. I propose that public biobanks adopt policies that ensure access to data, experimental use, and non-monetary benefit sharing with participants to encourage fairness, promote acceptance, and maintain trust.

Keywords: biobank, experimental use, data sharing, data access, benefit sharing, patents, genes, population studies, ethics

JEL Classification: O34

Suggested Citation

Simon, Brenda M., How to Get a Fair Share: IP Policies for Publicly Supported Biobanks (June 3, 2009). Stanford Journal of Law, Science & Policy, May 2009, Thomas Jefferson School of Law Research Paper No. How to Get a Fair Share: IP Policies for Publicly Supported Biobanks, Available at SSRN:

Brenda M. Simon (Contact Author)

California Western School of Law ( email )

225 Cedar Street
San Diego, CA 92101
United States

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0502
La Jolla, CA 92093-0112
United States

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