Mid-month, the CSIR has launched the ‘Open Source Drug Discovery’ (OSDD) programme. Conceptualised by CSIR Director General Samir K. Brahmachari, the project seeks to initiate Tuberculosis research since there has been no major scientific breakthrough in its treatment since 1960. (Our readers will remember Mrinalini’s interview with Mr. Bramhachari earlier this year)
Drawing their inspiration from open source movements, the Programme seeks to build a consortium of voluntary researchers from across the world to work around the patent regime that makes drugs expensive . The OSDD has futher set up a website to share their collaborative research, data on pathogens, tools for data analysis, and discussion forum for members to share ideas and projects for students to participate in drug discovery.
The terms of the OSDD licence are also spelt online. The terms are fairly straightforward, and we reproduce some relevant conditions below for readers:
“Terms and Conditions (Terms)
3 Proprietary Rights
3.1 The Portal, its services, the content, Information, and results of collaborative research including, but not limited to, the identification of drug-able non-toxic targets, in vitro and in vivo validation, in silico screening of molecules, lead optimization, pre-clinical toxicity and clinical trials will constitute ï¿½Protected Collective Informationï¿½. You agree that the ownership of Protected Collective Information belongs solely to the OSDD and is the proprietary right of OSDD, to be held in trust on behalf of OSDD by CSIR to be used to further the Vision and Mission.
3.2 Anyone accessing the Protected Collective Information has an obligation to contribute any addition or improvements made to or using such Protected Collective Information or any research result or proprietary rights generated out of the Protected Collective Information, except as provided in these Terms, back to OSDD through this Portal to add to the Protected Collective Information. Any appropriation of the Protected Collective Information to acquire proprietary rights which is in violation of its Vision and Mission to will be violation of these Terms, liable to legal action under the applicable laws.
3.3 By becoming a member of OSDD and using this Portal and in consideration thereof you agree that any Information submitted by you or generated using the Portal shall form a part of the Protected Collective Information to be shared and used by the OSDD members for furtherance of its vision, to be held by OSDD acting through CSIR (India) in trust as Protected Collective Information and you authorize OSDD acting through CSIR (India) to take any action in furtherance of the vision of OSDD. Such actions taken by OSDD acting through CSIR (India) will be informed to its members through the Portal.
3.4 You agree that Protected Collective Information is a valuable proprietary right of OSDD and in consideration of your accessing the Protected Collective Information you promise to submit all further developments or improvements made by you or your agents, to or using the Protected Collective Information back to the OSDD to add to the Protected Collective Information for others to work on it and make further improvements on it.
3.5 You assign to OSDD the worldwide royalty free non exclusive license on any Information submitted by you to Protected Collective Information for the sole purpose of use of OSDD members for furthering the Vision and Mission and for that purpose only. It is understood that if your intellectual property rights are used for any purpose contrary to the Vision and Mission, this assignment shall stand unconditionally revoked.
3.6 In the event of your acquiring any intellectual property rights by making improvements or modifications on any part of the Protected Collective Information, you shall grant an unencumbered worldwide non exclusive right to the OSDD for use of such rights for further research in furtherance of its Vision and Mission.
3.7 You agree that by virtue of using the Protected Collective Information, even partly, on your technology or invention, whether patented or not or kept as your confidential information or not, you shall submit back to the Protected Collective Information the out put or the result of such use, in whatever form, whether such output contains the Information contained in the Protected Collective Information or not.
3.8 You agree that OSDD acting through CSIR may license any research result generated out of OSDD for the sole purpose of furthering the Vision and Mission of OSDD provided that there shall be no direct monetary gain or other benefit for CSIR out of such assignment.
4. Your Rights
4.1 You may access the Protected Collective Information under the condition that for any use of it you shall credit the author or the contributor. You may contribute to Protected Collective Information and shall get credit for it, while not being considered responsible for modifications made by others.
4.2 You may make improvements, additions and modifications on the Protected Collective Information, and use it commercially or non-commercially, provided that you contribute all such improvements, additions and modifications, back to it.
4.3 You may submit your patented inventions (product or process) for the use of OSDD. You may retain the rights over the patents except to the extent to be used in the open source drug discovery process and for selling any product or process arising out of the use of your invention in that process. By submitting your patented invention for OSDD you agree not to place any encumbrances on the product or process arising out of the use of your patented product or process for fulfilling the Vision and Mission of OSDD. You agree that any use of your patented invention for the drug discovery process and any Information generated out of use of your patented invention while being used for drug discovery process on OSDD shall belong to Protected Collective Information.
4.4 You may use your patented invention or technology kept as trade secret to generate Information for OSDD without licensing or disclosing or in anyway parting with such invention or technology, but submit the Information so generated to OSDD to be a part of Protected Collective Information.
5. Other Terms
5.1 OSDD respects Intellectual Property Rights of others and expects the members not to infringe the Intellectual Property Rights of any third party contributing to the Protected Collective Information or while involving themselves in the drug discovery process. If any infringing material is posted on the Portal, it should be brought first on the discussion forum so that appropriate action can be taken. If infringing materials are posted online, the administrator will have the rights to take down or remove them without any notice.
5.1 The source code of all copyrighted software programs made available on this Portal should be open, in the sense that it is available and any software derived out of the software available on the Portal should also make the source code available.
5.2 You agree not to indulge in any attempts to destroy or deface the Portal including but not limited to knowingly introducing viruses and to bear the cost and consequence of any such action arising from your account.
5.3 You agree to indemnify OSDD and CSIR India against all legal fees, damages and other expenses that may be incurred by a result of your breach of the Terms.
5.4 These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of India. Disputes arising here from shall be exclusively subject to the jurisdiction of the High Court of Delhi, India.
8 Limitations of Liability
You expressly understand and agree that OSDD and CSIR (India) shall not be liable to you for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential or exemplary damages, including but not limited to, damages for loss of profits, goodwill, use, data or other intangible losses (even if OSDD have been advised of the possibility of such damages) resulting from: (i) the use or the inability to use OSDD services; (ii) the cost of procurement of substitute goods and services resulting from any goods, data, information or services purchased or obtained or messages received or transactions entered into through or from OSDD services; (iii) unauthorized access to or alteration of your transmissions or data; (iv) statements or conduct of any third party on OSDD services; or (v) any other matter relating to OSDD services.”
We would greatly appreciate our reader feedback on this new and commendable venture undertaken by CSIR. We here at SpicyIP wish them the best of luck and hope to see several new breakthroughs in the field of research.