Patents are Windows or they are Walls: Open Licensing of Publicly-funded Research

29 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2019 Last revised: 15 Feb 2019

See all articles by Feroz Ali

Feroz Ali

National Law School of India University

Shweta Mohandas

Centre for Internet and Society (CIS); Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Chennai - Department of Management Studies

Date Written: October 9, 2017

Abstract

For a government organisation established with the primary objective of collection and dissemination of information on research, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) files and maintains the highest number of patents for any publicly funded research organisation in India. Given its goal of dissemination of research, the incessant filing of patents with unascertained returns appears to be counter-productive. We identify the shift in CSIR’s approach to research as a move from dissemination to patenting and attribute it to the change in management style and to extraneous pressures. The mismatch between CSIR’s foundational objectives and its patenting policy makes it an ideal case for analysing the objectives of patents created by publicly-funded research. We look at recent examples from the private sector of patent holders issuing a Patent Non-Assertion Pledge and offering their technology through different forms of open licences and conclude that to achieve its stated objectives of dissemination of information on research, the preferable recourse for CSIR should be an open licensing policy for all its patents.

Keywords: patents, public fund, CSIR

Suggested Citation

Ali, Feroz and Mohandas, Shweta, Patents are Windows or they are Walls: Open Licensing of Publicly-funded Research (October 9, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3307768 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3307768

Feroz Ali

National Law School of India University ( email )

Nagarbhavi, PO Box 72
Bangalore, Karnataka 560072
India

Shweta Mohandas (Contact Author)

Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) ( email )

No. 194, 2nd ‘C’ Cross
Domlur, 2nd Stage
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560071
India

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Chennai - Department of Management Studies ( email )

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