On the Broader View of the Open Source Paradigm: The Case for Agricultural Biotechnology

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Contribution to Books

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This study reviews the use and advantages of open source software licensing and examines how the use of similar arrangements could increase productivity and innovation in other industries where intellectual property rights (IPR) protection has relied on proprietary measures and where rapid technological innovation is important. We observe that a reliance on proprietary, closed source protection of intellectual property in agricultural biotechnology has hindered product development and resulted in spiraling research and development costs. Reduced research productivity and increasing costs are of serious concern to practitioners, academicians, and policy makers. We show that lessons learned from the open source initiatives in software technology are directly applicable to agricultural biotechnology.