3.4 Intellectual Property Rights

Our economy and legal system have long recognized the rights of creators of ideas, methods, products, and other brainchildren to own the products of their creation. These rights provide a strong incentive for research and innovation, both for individual creators and for society through the production of new knowledge, goods, and services.

However, as we know, Open Science also provides strong stimulation to the economy by improving the quality of science and industrial products and services, facilitating more rapid discovery, and making scientific knowledge broadly available to creators or potential creators.

Intellectual property rights and Open Science exist together in a tense but interdependent relationship; policy makers and all of the actors in the culture of science must work to strike a balance between these two concepts.

The Open COVID Pledge: IP for Free in a Time of Crisis

In April 2020, in response to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, an international coalition of intellectual property law experts, researchers, and tech giants such as Amazon and Microsoft launched the Open COVID Pledge to call researchers and research organizations to make COVID-related intellectual property available free of charge.

These efforts have sped the development of tests, vaccines, medications, equipment, and software.

Selling Open Science at the Neuro

The Montreal Neurological Institute and hospital, aka The Neuro, has established itself as the first academic research institution fully dedicated to Open Science principles and practices. The Institute's activities include the Early Drug Discovery unit, which develops OS tools, technologies, training, and protocols with industry and university partners. The Neuro accelerates research and innovation by making its data and biological samples openly available and creating new intellectual property models for the marketing of open source discoveries.

However, the transition to Open hasn't always been easy - even at the Neuro. This five-minute video introduces Open Science changes happening at The Neuro. Dr. Guy Rouleau, the Neuro's director, discusses the difficulties involved in convincing researchers to adopt OS practices and the strategies used to achieve consensus on the decision to change the Neuro's practices.