Within the current research and innovation landscape, open science (OS) aims to remove barriers for sharing any kind of knowledge, resources and methods during the research process. This way, scientific research is meant to become widely accessible. Intellectual property (IP) rights, in contrast, seek to protect and balance the exclusive rights of inventors. How these two seemingly different paradigms balance and interact is the topic of a report recently published by the European Commission (EC).
The report explores the guiding principle 'as open as possible, as closed as necessary' in the context of an ever-evolving and open research and innovation ecosystem. The stance of the EC on the co-existence of OS and IPR is clear: according to the report, there are no incompatibilities between IPR and OS. In fact, a good IPR system can become essential to regulate open science and even to boost knowledge valorisation efforts.
In addition, the study explores other components of open science and its relationship with IPR, notably data and software, and aspects of digital science and online science communication. The lessons learnt and main remarks provided in the report also offer concrete recommendations for policymakers as well as for IP practitioners/users.
- Publication date
- 17 May 2022