Your source for expert commentary on IP management issues.
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Editor-in-Chief, Anatole Krattiger
Why This Topic Is Important
This section highlights for policymakers a range of specific strategies and mechanisms that are being
employed to facilitate access to new technologies. These include both contract-based approaches and
organizational approaches. Policies could be crafted to facilitate such strategies and mechanisms or
could build upon the basic principles that they embody.
Key Implications and Best Practices: Section 2
Given that IP management is heavily context specific, these Key Implications and Best Practices are intended as starting points to be adapted to specific needs and circumstances.
- One of the benefits of enabling public research institutions to own IP rights is that institutions can control how technology is deployed through the terms of licensing contracts, thus meeting both commercial and noncommercial goals.
- Well-crafted contracts, based on best practices, can be instrumental in achieving global access, provided the entire innovation process is given due consideration from the outset. This includes consideration of R&D capabilities, regulatory environment, manufacturing capabilities, IP management, access to markets, and trade-related concerns. Such an approach requires a lot of preparation and detailed knowledge of the processes related to developing and marketing the invention; realistic forecasting of product potential; persistence in quantitative forecasting and establishing a master plan for the entire product rollout; and a mission-driven mindset to establish optimum goals for the public sector.
- One of many components of best practices by the public sector is incorporating humanitarian-use reservation provisions in commercial licensing contracts. This is becoming increasingly common with certain universities around the world, particularly with respect to agricultural inventions. There is conceptually no reason why this should not become common practice globally.
- Public sector institutions should have explicit IP policies and demonstrated institutional capacity to implement best practices in IP management. Any licensor, public or private, is more willing to give licenses to institutions that proactively protect third-party-property, which leads to confidence building and a higher degree of motivation to proceed with more licensing and technology transfer arrangements.
- Open source may offer an alternative mechanism for facilitating access to innovations in health and agriculture, provided the open-source approaches that are so popular and effective in the software area can be successfully adapted to the biological sciences. More conceptual research is needed to make open source an effective way to accelerate innovation in health and agriculture.
- Other policies and laws can foster and enable efficient IP assembly (or in-licensing by national institutions to obtain freedom to operate and the freedom to license bundles of technologies to manufacturers). These may include patent pools and other mechanisms.
Ensuring Global Access through Effective IP Management: Strategies of Product-Development Partnerships
by Robert Eiss, Kathi E. Hanna, Richard T. Mahoney
Facilitating Humanitarian Access to Pharmaceutical and Agricultural Innovation
by Amanda L. Brewster, Stephen A. Hansen, Audrey R. Chapman
Patenting and Licensing Research Tools
by Charles Clift