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Biotechnology Patent Pools and Standards Setting

  • 04.06.09
  • Jorge A. Goldstein
  • Patent Law and Theory

Diagnostic genetic tests are increasingly used to identify specific human genetic in an attempt to assess the risks of a given disease.  There are often multiple mutations correlated with a particular disease, and  it often arises that the diagnostic correlations between disease and individual gene mutations in a polymutational test are patented by different patent holders. This may give rise to the phenomenon known as a patent thicket, where a potential market entrant needs to seek and obtain licenses, which may not always be available, from the different patent holders in order to broadly test for the disease.  Patent pools can be a a solution to general patent thickets in biotechnology.

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