CRISPR/Cas Technology and Innovation: Mapping Patent Law Issues
49 Pages Posted: 11 May 2022 Last revised: 22 Jun 2022
Date Written: April 1, 2022
The paper provides a systematic overview of issues arising at the interface between CRISPR/Cas technology and patent law. In particular, it examines aspects related to the patentability of CRISPR/Cas-based methods of genome editing, on the one hand, and access to patented technologies, in view of the expanding CRISPR patent landscape, on the other hand. On the whole, our findings show that the case of CRISPR/Cas technology is prototypical of the policy dilemma in patent law as to how to balance economic incentives of multiple innovators in a cumulative innovation setting. The reviewed technical, legal and economic factors suggest the preconditions for technology underutilisation. While this paper presents the results of the exploratory phase of research, it sets a framework for the further, more targeted interdisciplinary examination of the identified issues.
Keywords: CRISPR/Cas technology, genome editing, patents, cumulative innovation, patent thicket, anticommons
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