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Governing Digitally Integrated Genetic Resources, Data, and Literature: Global Intellectual Property Strategies for a Redesigned Microbial Research Commons

Proposes new governance strategies for science commons management based on empirical survey of major initiatives in microbiology and related fields
Includes detailed legal analysis of regulatory regimes that disrupt scientific research, including copyright and database protection laws
Explains why US scientists and industry must respect the Convention on Biological Diversity, whether or not the US joins the treaty

By: Jerome H Reichman (Author), Paul F Uhlir (Author), Tom Dedeurwaerdere (Author)

650 pages, 3 b/w illustrations, 21 tables

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | May 2016 | #221012 | ISBN-13: 9781107021747
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £99.99 $122/€112 approx

About this book

The free exchange of microbial genetic information is an established public good, facilitating research on medicines, agriculture, and climate change. However, over the past quarter-century, access to genetic resources has been hindered by intellectual property claims from developed countries under the World Trade Organization's TRIPS Agreement (1994) and by claims of sovereign rights from developing countries under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) (1992). In Governing Digitally Integrated Genetic Resources, Data, and Literature, the authors examine the scientific community's responses to these obstacles and advise policymakers on how to harness provisions of the Nagoya Protocol (2010) that allow multilateral measures to support research. By pooling microbial materials, data, and literature in a carefully designed transnational e-infrastructure, the scientific community can facilitate access to essential research assets while simultaneously reinforcing the open access movement. The original empirical surveys of responses to the CBD included here provide a valuable addition to the literature on governing scientific knowledge commons.


1. Uncertain legal status of microbial genetic resources in a conflicted geopolitical environment

Part I. International Regulation of Genetic Resources and the Assault on Scientific Research
2. Between public and private goods: emergence of the transnational research commons for plant and microbial genetic resources
3. Tightening the regulatory grip: from the convention on biological diversity in 1992 to the Nagoya protocol in 2010

Part II. Preserving the Public Research Functions of Microbial Genetic Resources After the Nagoya Protocol
4. The existing microbial research commons confronts proprietary obstacles
5. Facilitating transnational exchanges of genetic resources within a redesigned microbial research infrastructure

Part III. A Digitally Integrated Infrastructure for Microbial Data and Information
6. Legal and institutional obstacles impeding access to and use of scientific literature and data
7. Enabling the microbial research community to control its own scholarly publications
8. Fully exploiting data-intensive research opportunities in the networked environment

Part IV. Governing Public Knowledge Assets within a Redesigned Microbial Research Commons
9. Institutional models for a transnational research commons
10. In search of a politically acceptable and scientifically productive operational framework
11. Implementing a transnational framework agreement for a redesigned microbial research commons

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Jerome H. Reichman is the Bunyan S. Womble Professor of Law at Duke University School of Law. His research deals with the impact of intellectual property on public health, developing countries, and global science policy. He is the co-author, most recently, of Intellectual Property Rights: Legal and Economic Challenges for Development (2014).

Paul F. Uhlir is Director of the Board on Research Data and Information at the National Academies in Washington, DC. The director and editor of numerous National Research Council reports, his current areas of interest include scientific data management policy and the impact of intellectual property law on research and development.

Tom Dedeurwaerdere is Director of the Biodiversity Governance Unit and Professor of the Philosophy of Social Sciences at the Catholic University, Leuven. The editor of two books on the global environmental commons, he was recently awarded a grant from the European Research Council for a project on governing the global genetic resource commons.

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