Ethical Licensing for CRISPR: Exploring the Opportunities for Responsible Licensing Mechanisms to Restore Trust

Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution

Esther Van Zimmeren - Speaker

Timo Minssen - Speaker

CRISPR has many promising applications. However, such promises also involve significant social responsibility for all actors involved. The recent controversy regarding the gene-edited twins has led to a public outcry and significant public concerns. Obviously, the actual risks and benefits of CRISPR will depend on the actual application (e.g. somatic gene editing v. germline gene editing). Yet, it is important to consider the different tools that are available to ensure that research and development in the field proceeds in a responsible way, including regulation, self-regulation and critical oversight. Ethical licensing of patented technologies can serve as one of the self-regulatory tools to limit potentially controversial use. This paper seeks to explore the opportunities for such ethical licensing for CRISPR. It starts off with a more general exploration of the concept of social responsibility and ethical licensing, followed by a short analysis of the CRISPR patent landscape and the current use of ethical licensing for CRISPR. We also cover the ongoing initiative of MPEG LA to set up a patent pool for CRISPR to deal with the increasingly complex and fragmented CRISPR patent landscape. Within the context of such a collaborative licensing mechanism, the impact of ethical licensing will even be more significant, but also more complex to manage from a governance perspective. Finally, the paper will also be framed within the literature on trust and new emerging technologies as ethical licensing could operate as an important signaling device for building/repairing trust in key pioneering technologies.
4 Mar 2019

Event (Conference)

TitleScientific, Regulatory & Legal Dimensions of Recent Advances in Gene Editing
LocationUniversity of Copenhagen, Mærsk Tower
Degree of recognitionInternational event

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