Idea details: Inventions ouvertes / Open Inventions

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English follows the French.

LE CONTEXTE
Les inventions sont primordiales pour la société. Elles conduisent à
l’innovation et au progrès, lesquels à leur tour améliorent notre
qualité de vie et notre bien être. Pour ces raisons, le gouvernement du
Canada investit des sommes substantielles dans la recherche et le
développement en finançant ses propres laboratoires de recherche et aussi
en finançant les universités et l’industrie par divers programmes. Ainsi,
le gouvernement est à l’origine de plusieurs inventions développées au
Canada.

Mais qu’advient-il de ces inventions ? Typiquement, elles sont traitées
par des mécanismes traditionnels de gestion de propriété intellectuelle :
le secret commercial, les brevets, les licences et le transfert technologique
vers l’industrie. Ces méthodes ont pour origine une croyance répandue que
les avantages socioéconomiques qui découlent des inventions seront plus
importants si leur propriété est maintenue privée et exclusive.

En même temps, l’histoire montre que des inventions rendues disponibles
gratuitement et ouvertement peuvent aussi avoir un impact socioéconomique
important. Ce fut le cas des rayons X, de la pénicilline, de l’Internet et
du World Wide Web, pour n'en nommer que quelques unes. Aucune de ces
inventions majeures n’a été brevetée.

LE PROBLÈME
Présentement, les initiatives de Gouvernement ouvert et de la Science
ouverte ne proposent pas de mécanismes permettant l’ouverture proactive
des inventions gouvernementales. Les publications scientifiques ouvertes qui
décrivent une invention ainsi que l’accessibilité aux données
scientifiques associées sont certes un pas dans la bonne direction
puisqu’elles informent souvent de façon complète et détaillée de la
nature de l’invention en question. Toutefois, ces approches ouvertes ne
permettent ni l’usage, ni le déploiement de ladite invention par
d’autres. Une disponibilité restreinte des inventions gouvernementales en
résulte, ce qui entraine un progrès plus lent de notre société.

LA SOLUTION
Dans le cadre du nouveau Plan d’action du gouvernement ouvert 2016-2018,
l’initiative « Inventions ouvertes » proposerait des stratégies, des
politiques et des outils pour supporter et encourager l’ouverture
proactive, libre et gratuite, d’inventions financées par le gouvernement.
Pour y parvenir, des outils comme un « portfolio d’inventions
gouvernementales ouvertes », des nouvelles politiques de propriété
intellectuelle ministérielles et une « promesse de brevet du gouvernement
ouvert » standardisée seraient développés pour constituer la fondation
légale nécessaire.

En quelque sorte, l’approche « Inventions ouvertes » est aux inventions
gouvernementales ce que « Creative Commons » est aux œuvres régies par
les droits d’auteur et ce que le mouvement du logiciel libre est au
logiciel.

INFORMATIONS ADDITIONNELLES (en anglais seulement)
Ignite Talk : https://youtu.be/b6pIsJBi1ts
Workshop presentation :
http://www.slideshare.net/fralef/open-inventions-workshop

----------------------------

BACKGROUND
Inventions are key to society. They lead to innovation and progress, which in
turn help improve our quality of life and well-being. That ‘s why the
government of Canada invests a substantial amount of money in research and
development by funding its own science based departments and agencies as well
universities and industry through various funding programs. As a result, the
Canadian government is the source of many inventions developed in Canada.

But what happens to these inventions then? Typically, inventions are handled
with traditional intellectual property management approaches: trade secrets,
patenting, licensing and transfers to industry. These methods have their
roots in a strong belief that the socioeconomic benefits we can derive from
inventions will be greater if their ownership is kept private and exclusive.

On the other hand, history has shown that inventions that are freely and
openly available can have significant socioeconomic impacts: X-rays,
penicillin, the Internet and the World Wide Web to name a few. None if these
key inventions were patented.

THE PROBLEM
Current Open Government and Open Science efforts do not propose mechanisms to
pro-actively set government inventions free. The open publication of
scientific articles describing an invention and the release of associated
scientific data are a step in the right direction as they inform, often in a
detailed and exhaustive way, of the nature of the invention. However, these
open approaches do not permit the use and the deployment of the invention by
others. This ultimately results in reduced dissemination of government
inventions and slower progress for our society.

THE SOLUTION
Under the new Action Plan on Open Government 2016-2018, an “Open
Inventions” initiative would propose strategies, policies and tools to
support and foster the pro-active release of government funded inventions
openly and for free. To achieve this, tools such as an “Open Government
Inventions Portfolio”, new departmental intellectual property policies and
a standardized “Open Government Patent Pledge” would be developed to
constitute the required legal foundation.

In a way, the proposed “Open Inventions” approach is to government funded
inventions what Creative Commons is to copyrighted works and what the open
source software movement is to software.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Ignite talk: https://youtu.be/b6pIsJBi1ts
Workshop presentation:
http://www.slideshare.net/fralef/open-inventions-workshop

 

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Comments

A LOT of public money goes into research and development -- which is not available to the public (who helped finance it). This is outrageous!
On one hand this system forces the public to subsidize the profits of private companies or individuals. Unfair!
And on the other hand this privatization of knowledge slow down research and development, in the name of private profit. Not smart!
Humanity has benefited from shared knowledge in science for centuries (peasant knowledge to improve crop varieties, mathematics, biology, astronomy...). We have strayed too far from the ethics of shared knowledge.

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