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4. DNA as Intellectual Property

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Chapter Summary

DNA sequence databases qualify for the sui generis protection under the EU Database Directive which could help resolve the issue of conferring intellectual property rights on such databases. However, given the number of biological databases and their architecture, a proliferation of fragmented and overlapping rights could emerge. The detailed arrangements for sharing the rights could be prohibitive to further research and development. A solution could be to devise a Database Right pool into which all contributors would submit their data with an accompanying clearance system and a collecting agency which would, on behalf of the contributor whose submitted sequences have been accessed by a user of the database, collect the corresponding fee. This solution has the additional benefit that the research which is valued most by users of the pool will be rewarded most.

Keywords: biological databases; Database Right pool; DNA sequence databases; intellectual property rights



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