Your source for expert commentary on IP management issues.
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Editor-in-Chief, Anatole Krattiger
Why This Topic Is Important
Contracts and agreements constitute one of the primary tools of research collaboration and intellectual
property management. Policymakers can help create a legal environment that supports contract based
transactions and enhances the efficiency of innovation.
Key Implications and Best Practices: Section 7
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.
- A public sector institution can use a variety of agreements to both manage and protect intellectual property, regardless of whether that intellectual property is owned by the public sector institution or by licensing partners in the private sector. The key issue is to allow for maximum flexibility whereby institutions can set, or negotiate, the terms that best fit the mission and goals of the institution and the purpose of the partnership.
- It is important to encourage partnerships that accelerate the development and use of new technologies, whether they are domestic or foreign, and to provide support and encouragement during negotiation in the form of tangible commitments to capacity-building, as well as to broader IP management training in patenting, licensing, and technology transfer, for example.
- Confidentiality agreements are meant to protect sensitive data that one party transfers to another. They do not run counter to public sector missions or to publishing important research findings. Many organizations, including public sector institutions, often have information that is legitimately kept confidential. Such information can include business plans, research proposals, and databases containing business contacts.
- Confidentiality agreements rely on a culture of trust, not a culture of secrecy.
- Predictably enforced and fairly construed contract laws will greatly facilitate the formation and enforcement of contracts. A functioning court system is essential to encouraging partnerships. Indeed, suppliers of biological materials (and of confidential information and intellectual property) will be encouraged to enter into agreements if the suppliers are confident that their property rights will be protected and that agreements will be enforced. Such confidence fosters collaborative research, and drives international collaboration.
- It is important that the courts adjudicate contract disputes efficiently and fairly because the quality of the judicial system will influence the quality and quantity of a country’s international partnerships and agreements and also will influence the complexity and sophistication of technologies transferred to and from a given country.
Agreements: A Review of Essential Tools of IP Management
by Richard T. Mahoney, Anatole Krattiger