University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Department of Geography - Seminars in Cultural and Historical Geography > Patents and the Challenge of ‘Sharewaring’ in Post-Genomic Bioscience or …The Strange Case of Betty Crocker and The Mouse

Patents and the Challenge of ‘Sharewaring’ in Post-Genomic Bioscience or …The Strange Case of Betty Crocker and The Mouse

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Biotechnology has recently become populated with all manner of ‘queer’ assemblages: the stem cell line, chimeras, technologically enhanced human beings and the subject of this paper – model mice. These mice, which are central to the performance of contemporary bioscience, are distinct from their historical precursors in several ways. Rather than being constructed as a finished ‘product’ to be covetously controlled as a single piece of tangible intellectual property, the engineered mouse and mouse model colonies from which they are drawn are now conceived of, and operate as, a vital research space or laboratory within which to continually experiment on the ‘software’ of mammalian genetics and phonotypical associations. In this paper I consider how protection of these assemblages is now and could be effected through the application of alternative forms of IPR to the patent including by branding and trademarking and sharewaring. In so doing I compare how such instruments have been applied in other industrial sectors and reflect on the implications that these developments could have for the re-valorization of the commons in the realm of biological resource use.

This talk is part of the Department of Geography - Seminars in Cultural and Historical Geography series.

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