Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Who owns biodiversity informatics? The Patents

I find it surprising how close some of these come to the core business of many biodiversity informaticians, and I suspect that there might be prior art in some cases. If you know of any I've missed put them in the comments and I'll add them.

Managing Taxonomic Information (US 7,650,327 B2)
Remsen, D.; Norton, C.
In a management of taxonomic information, a name that specifies an organism is identified. Based on the name and a database of organism names or classifications a link between pieces of biological identification information in the database, or a classification for the organism, is determined. Based on the other name or the classification, information associated with the organism is identified.

Information System for Biological and Life Sciences Research (Pending: US 2005/0038776 A1)
Cyrus, R.; Di Tommaso, M.; Kerlavage, A.R.; Lawrence, C.B. 
An online life science research environment and virtual community with a focus on design and analysis of biological experiments includes a life sciences laboratory system employing at least one networked computer system that defines a virtual research environment. Users access the system through a portal associated with the networked computer system(s). The virtual research environment has a data coupling mechanism by which the user designates a set of user-specified data for bioinformatics processing. A processor(s) associated with the networked computer system(s) performs bioinformatics services upon the user-specified data. In one embodiment, the data coupling mechanism enables transfer of user-specified data to a memory space that is mediated or accessed by the processor performing the bioinformatics processing. Users may this exploit bioinformatics processing resources that are not deployed on users' local computer environments, and to store and organize information relating to life sciences research in a secure, online workspace.

Systems and Methods for Resolving Ambiguity Between Names and Entities (US 7,9225,444 B2)
Garrity, G.; Lyons, C. 
The present invention provides systems and methods that utilize an information architecture for disambiguating scientific names and other classification labels and the entities to which those names are applied, as well as a means of accessing data on those entities in a networked environment using persistent, unique identifiers.

Systems and methods for automatically identifying and linking names in digital resources (Pending: US 2010/0198841 A1)
Parker, C; Lyons, C.; Roston, G.; Garrity, G. 
The present invention provides systems and methods for automatically identifying name-like-strings in digital resources, matching these name-like-string against a set of names held in an expertly curated database, and for those name-like-strings found in said database, enhancing the content by associating additional matter with the name, wherein said matter includes information about the names that is held within said database and pointers to other digital resources which include the same name and it synonyms.