Controversy over intellectual property rights in the results of large-scale cDNA sequencing raises intriguing questions about the roles of the public and private sectors in genomics research, and about who stands to benefit (and who stands to lose) from the private appropriation of genomic information. While the US Patent and Trademark Office has rejected patent applications on cDNA fragments of unknown function from the National Institutes of Health, private firms have pursued three distinct strategies for exploiting unpatented cDNA sequence information: exclusive licensing, non-exclusive licensing and dedication to the public domain.
Eisenberg, Rebecca S. "Intellectual Property Issues in Genomics." Trends in Biotechnology 14, no. 8 (1996): 302-7.