Intellectual management property firm Ascenion, which acted as an intermediary in the case, established a non-exclusive license agreement with that allow four German research centres free access to technologies that are used to investigate the function and regulation of individual genes.
The ruling is good news for those who are involved in basic research and drug development as the newly signed licence agreements will allow the research institutions concerned the rights to freely use the methods and technology.
The technologies involved are homologous recombination developed by Cellectis and the Cre-Lox system produced by DuPont and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
The research institutions involved in the agreement include the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), German Research Centre for Biotechnology (GBF), National Research Centre for Environment and Health (GSF), Max Delbrück Centre for Molecular Medicine (MDC).
Christian Stein, CEO of Ascenion told DrugResearcher.com: "This legal basis is good for these research institutions. We certainly expect other research institutions to join this agreement."
The use of patent-protected methods, whether for research purposes or for commercial applications, requires a licence from the patent holder. In this particular agreement, terms have already been agreed with Cellectis assuring the company a fair share in the profits resulting from any future commercialisation of the research results.
Stein added: "The significance of this legal basis is the research field is kept free and therefore cost efficient. More importantly, access to new indispensible technology is created."
"We are moving in an explosive area of conflict. Individual companies hold dominant patent positions in technologies that are practically indispensable in life-science research. As a result, the pressure is increasing on these companies to make short-term returns with the help of their patents."
The new licence agreements have a direct effect on day-to-day research. Previously, a material transfer agreement had to be signed each time Cre-Lox materials were passed on, giving DuPont access and rights to all ensuing research results.
Prof Balling, Scientific Director of the GBF added: "We can now conduct our research more freely and efficiently, and can cooperate with other research institutions without having to negotiate legal hurdles."
"Against this background, the present licence agreements are groundbreaking, Ascenion has created long-term legal security and a fair balance of interests between research and industry, thereby safeguarding freedom of research."
Isabelle Pelletier-Bressac, vice president, business development of Cellectis responded on their website by saying: "We are extremely pleased by the signature of these agreements."
"These four new agreements confirm the critical role played in this area by our family patents, covering certain uses of homologous recombination. Ascenion provides us with a seal on this patent portfolio through its intermediation with four German leading Academic Centers developing animal models."