"Biological Open Source" is not a new way to patent, but a new way to share the capability to use patented technology
In the license versions and MTAs available on this website, both products and improvements can still be patented, and products and services can be developed for profit or for public good - but licensees and those who have used the technology under MTAs may not assert rights to exclude from use of improvements, even patented improvements, against the licensor and other licensees within the protected commons.
The essence of the open source concept: what is provided with wide access is not necessarily the product solution, but the enabling technology that allows products to be developed by innovative people. All those who agree to the terms of sharing have protected access to the capacity to use the enabling technology, and can make and commercialise products, royalty-free, without the need to renegotiate a commercial license.
Collaboration to share improvements is further facilitated by licensee access to protected discussion spaces on the BioForge. The BioForge is a portal for protocol-sharing, comments on patents, and discussion tools in both public and secure environments. As it develops it will provide further resources for cooperative development of technologies and maintaining capabilities to use them.