The Broad Institute's recent licensing of its gene editing patent portfolio demonstrates how licenses can be used to restrict controversial applications of emerging technologies while society deliberates their implications.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution
Access Nature and 54 other Nature Portfolio journals
Get Nature+, our best-value online-access subscription
$29.99 / 30 days
cancel any time
Subscribe to this journal
Receive 12 print issues and online access
$209.00 per year
only $17.42 per issue
Rent or buy this article
Prices vary by article type
Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout
Similar content being viewed by others
Rood, J. The Scientist http://www.thescientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/42595/title/Who-Owns-CRISPR-/ (3 April 2015).
The Broad Institute, Inc. v. The Regents of the Univ. of California. Declaration of Interference No. 106,048 (2016).
Sherkow, J.S. Nat. Biotechnol. 33, 256–257 (2015).
Han, A.P. GenomeWeb https://www.genomeweb.com/gene-silencinggene-editing/non-crispr-genome-editing-technologies-find-niche-biotech-applications (8 August 2016).
Pollack, R. Science 348, 871 (2015).
Abbasi, J. JAMA 316, 482–483 (2016)
Baltimore, D. et al. Science 348, 36–38 (2015).
Lanphier, E., Urnov, F., Haecker, S.E., Werner, M. & Smolenski, J. Nature 519, 410–411 (2015).
Liang, P. et al. Protein Cell 6, 363–372 (2015).
Kang, X. et al. J. Assist. Reprod. Genet. 33, 581–588 (2016).
Olson, S. (ed.) International Summit on Human Gene Editing: a Global Discussion (National Academies Press, Washington, DC, 2016).
Begley, S. STAT News https://www.statnews.com/2016/09/22/monsanto-licenses-crispr/ (22 September 2016).
Editas Medicine, Inc. Securities and Exchange Commission Form S-1, amend. 1 (2016).
Regalado, A. https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602633/stop-gene-spills-before-they-happen/ MIT Technol. Rev. (20 October 2016).
Mimura, C. in Working within the Boundaries of Intellectual Property: Innovation Policy for the Knowledge Society (eds. Dreyfuss, R.C., First, H. & Zimmerman, D.L.) 269–295 (Oxford University Press, New York, 2010).
Rosen, I. https://www.broadinstitute.org/news/licensing-crispr-agriculture-policy-considerations Broad Institute News (29 September 2016).
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
About this article
Cite this article
Guerrini, C., Curnutte, M., Sherkow, J. et al. The rise of the ethical license. Nat Biotechnol 35, 22–24 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/nbt.3756
This article is cited by
Nature Biotechnology (2023)
Nature Biotechnology (2023)
Adapting the ordre public and morality exclusion of European patent law to accommodate emerging technologies
Nature Biotechnology (2020)
Nature Cell Biology (2018)
The ethics of access to patented biotech research tools from universities and other research institutions
Nature Biotechnology (2018)