Patent Pool Simplifies Development of Personalized Medicine

29 September 2012 Personalized Medicine Bulletin Blog

One argument often cited against patenting is that multiple patents can cover one product, its preparation and use, creating a so-called “patent thicket” that must be unwound like a bowl of spaghetti before a new technology is free of potential liability. Cooperation and collaboration among patent holders in the form of a patent pool is one means to provide a one-stop-shop for coordination and management of patented technology. A patent pool is an agreement among patent holders to provide access to patented technologies based on an agreed-upon fee structure. Patent pools have been used in high technology and other fields but typically not in technologies supporting health care.

The National Institutes for Health announced the formation of a patent pool to provide a one-stop shop for worldwide access to diagnostic discoveries for personalized medicine. The pool is managed by MPEG LA and available under the name “the Librassay.” MPEG LA promotes the Librassay as a landmark collaboration among the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other leading health care innovators, such as Johns Hopkins University, the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Partners HealthCare, The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University, The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, San Francisco.

This and similar collaborations are supportive of the advancement of personalized medicine and underlying technologies. For example, simplified and coordinated access to numerous patented technologies would support whole genome sequencing, which sequences and identifies numerous genetic markers simultaneously.

This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney. This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary. The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites. In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.

Related Services

Insights