Can Patents Deter Innovation? The Anticommons in Biomedical Research

  title={Can Patents Deter Innovation? The Anticommons in Biomedical Research},
  author={Michael A. Heller and Rebecca S. Eisenberg},
  journal={Intellectual Property Law eJournal},
The "tragedy of the commons" metaphor helps explain why people overuse shared resources. However, the recent proliferation of intellectual property rights in biomedical research suggests a different tragedy, an "anticommons" in which people underuse scarce resources because too many owners can block each other. Privatization of biomedical research must be more carefully deployed to sustain both upstream research and downstream product development. Otherwise, more intellectual property rights… 

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