The Pasteur 2016 team is one of the few iGEM formations to include lawyers. Their job is to handle the intellectual property aspects of the project, thus providing the team with expertise on questions such as patents, open source licences, and protection of both the industrial designs, and the trademarks. They also serve as a legal support to frame the project according to the legislationin effect. Furthermore, in order to build a responsible device regarding public health, safety, privacy, economic and environmental considerations, three law students are also in charge of the ethics-related aspects of the project. Lastly, with a view to helping iGEM team members address prospects for their project after the competition is over, the lawyers wrote a report which deals with the benefits and limitations of the open science model in the framework of synthetic biology and the iGEM competition.
The report on intellectual property addresses the question of the benefits and drawbacks of open science in the context of the iGEM competition. An effort has been made to first define the terms at hand, then to initiate the reflexion on several issues, from the lack of protection of the teams’ creations by the IP, to the difficult reconciliation between openness and development of an income-generating project. We imagined it with iGEM teams as the targeted audience, and we really hope that you find it useful and interesting.