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In some cases, patents may be held as a defensive measure -- i.e., to
prevent others from patenting and monopolizing something.  If you are the
patent holder, you are free to allow others unfettered access.

On Thu, 4 Dec 2003, A.J. Rossini wrote:

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>
> That is true in general.
>
> However, it is possible to patent a use for an algorithm, and that
> gets a bit scarier, at least for folks doing data analysis.  It's
> already happened for the analysis of gene expression data as well as
> for statistical algorithms related to prediction for cancer screening
> (Steve Skates and/or Mass General Hospital is the holder).
>
> One could imagine (hopefully unthinkable) worst case scenario, where
> the originators of various centrality measures recieved patents on
> their application to understanding friendship networks (again, have to
> be "specific"), and used them to block publication in journals which
> require per-page fees where the articles are required to be mentioned
> as "advertisements", since there was a payment for publication (not
> sure if they exist in the social sciences, but they in biology and
> medicine).
>
> Again, I'm stretching a bit to make this e, but you probably can
> understand the concern.
>
> best,
> -tony
>
> Bienenstock Elisa <[log in to unmask]> writes:
>
> > *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/  *****
> >
> > I remembered one more point my friend made: It is not possible to patent
> > an algorithm. For that reason I am not sure that we have anything to
> > worry about.
>
> --
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