from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The reverse of a commons; a situation in which a resource is subject to fragmented rights, whereby potential users can exclude one another.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Coined by Michael Heller, based on "tragedy of the commons", a term coined by Garrett Hardin.


  • Recent studies addressing this issue in the United States1, 2, Germany3, Australia4 and Japan5 find that "patent thickets"6 or an "anticommons"7 rarely affect the research of academic scientists.


  • At the IPSC conference in Berkeley, one of the regulars commented to me that we seem to be entering an era of "normal science" in IP: the most engaging projects are not aiming to "shift the paradigm," but rather to incrementally solve problems such as anticommons, or excess uniformity in legal treatment of diverse phenomena recognized much earlier.

    Kalman's Historian's Eye View

  • By "anticommons," they meant a situation in which the existence of a large number of intellectual property rights applicable to a single good or service unduly retards or even prevents its provision.

    Reason Magazine

  • Navigating the Patent Thicket: Cross Licenses, Patent Pools, and Standard Setting, "In: Innovation Policy and the Economy 1: 119-50) or the" anticommons "(Heller & Eisenberg, 1998,"

    Patent Docs

  • Wednesday, August 19, 2009 iPhone apps: cash cow or anticommons?

    Archive 2009-08-01

  • Fair use warning iPhone apps: cash cow or anticommons?

    Revitalizing false patent marking

  • Heller and Eisenberg worried that the privatization of biomedical research "promises to spur private investment but risks creating a tragedy of the anticommons through a proliferation of fragmented and overlapping intellectual property rights."

    Reason Magazine

  • As evidence for a biomedical anticommons, analysts regularly cite the high profile case of

    Reason Magazine

  • The AAAS study found "very little evidence of an 'anticommons problem.'"

    Reason Magazine

  • The review concluded that "among academic biomedical researchers in the United States, only one percent report having had to delay a project and none having abandoned a project as a result of others 'patents, suggesting that neither anticommons nor restrictions on access were seriously limiting academic research."

    Reason Magazine


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