E.4 Intellectual Property
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The objective of ICGC-ARGO policy regarding intellectual property (IP) policy is to maximize public benefit from data produced by the members. It is the view of the ICGC-ARGO members that this goal is achieved if the data remain publicly accessible without any restrictions. Therefore, all ICGC-ARGO members agree not to make claims to possible IP derived from primary data (including somatic mutations) and to not pursue IP protections that would prevent or block access to or use of any element of ICGC-ARGO data or conclusions drawn directly from those data.
Users of the data (including members) may elect to perform further research that would add intellectual and resource capital to ICGC-ARGO data and elect to exercise their IP rights on these downstream discoveries. However, if patents are pursued on such “downstream” inventions, ICGC-ARGO participants and other data users are expected to implement licensing policies that do not obstruct further research; see for example the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s document on “Best Practices for the Licensing of Genomic Inventions.