Volume 29, Issue 24 pp. 4079-4182 (31 May 2011)
Patent data mining: A tool for accelerating HIV vaccine innovation
K. Clark, J. Cavicchi, K. Jensen, R. Fitzgerald, A. Bennett, S.P. Kowalski
Global access to advanced vaccine technologies is challenged by the interrelated components of intellectual property (IP) management strategies, technology transfer (legal and technical) capabilities and the capacity necessary for accelerating R&D, commercialization and delivery of vaccines. Due to a negative association with the management of IP, patents are often overlooked as a vast resource of freely available, information akin to scientific journals as well as business and technological information and trends fundamental for formulating policies and IP management strategies. Therefore, a fundamental step towards facilitating global vaccine access will be the assembly, organization and analysis of patent landscapes, to identify the amount of patenting, ownership (assignees) and fields of technology covered. This is critical for making informed decisions (e.g., identifying licensees, building research and product development collaborations, and ascertaining freedom to operate). Such information is of particular interest to the HIV vaccine community where the HIV Vaccine Enterprise, have voiced concern that IP rights (particularly patents and trade secrets) may prevent data and materials sharing, delaying progress in research and development of a HIV vaccine. We have compiled and analyzed a representative HIV vaccine patent landscape for a prime-boost, DNA/adenoviral vaccine platform, as an example for identifying obstacles, maximizing opportunities and making informed IP management strategy decisions towards the development and deployment of an efficacious HIV vaccine.