Access to Knowledge: a guide for everyone Page: 72
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3. ALTERNATIVE WAYS OF SHARING KNOWLEDGE
both specific aspects of these proposals and any attempts to permit use
Legislation was introduced into the US Congress in 2008 that would
have limited the remedies available to a copyright owner for copyright
infringement where the defendant had undertaken a reasonable search
but was nevertheless unable to locate the owner. This legislation lapsed
and has not yet been re-introduced.
Meanwhile the Google Books settlement (referred to at 1.3.3) is, in a
way, a privatised version of orphaned works legislation for the USA, in
that it will allow out-of-print books (including, but not limited to, orphan
works) to be redistributed by Google in electronic form, in exchange for
licence fees to be administered by an independent Book Rights Registry.
3.3.2 Patent pools
Patent pools are useful in cases where there are so many patents covering
a certain field of industry (a "patent thicket") that the costs of innovat-
ing in that field becomes unaffordable. In such cases rights holders with
patents covering a particular field can pool their patents together and
agree on a single formula for licensing the use of those patents through a
Patent pools are receiving growing attention as possible tools for im-
proving technology transfer to developing countries. They offer one big
benefit: they can cut through patent thickets to provide access to criti-
cal technological innovations. But patent pools are also risky: the agree-
ment to share technologies may run afoul of antitrust issues. And there
are other pros and cons:
* Patent pools allow for the transfer of intellectual property, not the
transfer of technology. Know-how and trade secrets may also be
required to use the intellectual property.
* Patent pools have generally flourished when all companies in a sec-
tor are stymied by restrictions on access to intellectual property.
This makes them willing to compromise. It is unclear whether or
not pharmaceutical companies feel similar inclinations.
* Patent pools have been most successful in the electronics indus-
try, since they facilitate industry-wide standards that create larger
markets. Again, this may not apply to drug companies.
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Noronha, Frederick & Malcolm, Jeremy. Access to Knowledge: a guide for everyone, text, 2010; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33297/m1/82/: accessed December 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .