Current IP practices and restrictive licensing threaten to restrict innovation as the scale of DNA systems increases. We believe that the field needs to explore new “two-tier” intellectual property models that will protect investment in applications, while promote sharing of DNA components and freedom-to-operate for small companies in commercial applications of Synthetic Biology.
We are collaborating with the Biobricks Foundation on an Open Materials Transfer Agreement (OpenMTA). This is a simple, standardized legal tool that enables individuals and organizations to share their materials and associated data on an open basis.
The primary purpose of the OMTA is to eliminate or reduce transaction costs associated with access, use, modification, and redistribution of materials and associated data. This in turn will help minimize waste and redundancy in the scientific research process and promote access to materials and associated data for researchers in less privileged institutions and world regions.