Patents Or Open Science?

1st Edition - November 26, 2012

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  • Author: Antonella De Robbio
  • eBook ISBN: 9781908818614

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Biobanks represent an invaluable research tool and, as a result of their intrinsic and extrinsic nature, may be looked upon as archives or repositories largely made up of libraries, or collections of content where the content is the biological material derived from different individuals or species, representing valuable tangible assets. Biobanks analyses aspects of the commons and common intellectual property relating to the concepts of private property, not only concerning data but biological materials as well, and the advantages and disadvantages of patents in scientific research. Several recent initiatives in biomedical research have attempted to make their data freely available to others, so as to foster innovation. Many of these initiatives have adopted the open source model, which has gained widespread recognition in the computer industry. This title is structured into eight chapters and begins with an introduction, which is followed by chapters that discuss how the term ‘biobank’ came about in scientific literature; legal matters relating to biobanks; and intellectual and physical property. Later chapters comprehensively analyse the intellectual property of biobanks within the sphere of copyright; biotechnological inventions and research patentability; open data sharing in biobanks; and biobanks as commons or vault.

Key Features

  • Considers biobanks as both repositories and as collections of tangible assets
  • Argues that the data in biobanks represents a high value intangible asset
  • Explores regulatory gaps exploited by the private sector


All those interested in the archiving of biological material and its relation to legal and social issues; Intellectual property lawyers; Law librarians

Table of Contents

  • Dedication


    About the author

    Chapter 1: Introduction

    Chapter 2: How the term “biobank” came about in scientific literature

    Chapter 3: Legal matters relating to biobanks: privacy, confidentiality and informed consent

    Chapter 4: Intellectual and physical property

    Chapter 5: The intellectual property of biobanks within the sphere of copyright

    Chapter 6: Biotechnological inventions and research patentability

    Chapter 7: Open data sharing in biobanks: open science and its impact on society

    Chapter 8: Biobanks: commons or vault?




Product details

  • No. of pages: 76
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Woodhead Publishing 2012
  • Published: November 26, 2012
  • Imprint: Woodhead Publishing
  • eBook ISBN: 9781908818614

About the Author

Antonella De Robbio

Antonella De Robbio is Coordinator for the Law Libraries at the University of Padova in Italy. In 2003 she implemented E-LIS, an electronic open access archive for scientific or technical documents, published or unpublished, in Librarianship, Information Science and Technology, and related application activities. Since 1999 Antonella has been Italian coordinator of MAI MetaOPAC Azalai Italiano and Italian OPACs of AIB-WEB (Italian Library Association).

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Padova, Italy

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