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Your source for expert commentary on IP management issues.
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Editor-in-Chief,   Anatole Krattiger

Editorial Board

Concept Foundation


Fiocruz, Brazil

bioDevelopments-   Institute

Patents and Patenting: Balancing Protection with the Public Domain
Topic Guide for Policymakers

Why This Topic Is Important

This section provides valuable guidance on how, when, and where—and whether—to file for intellectual property protection for the best chance of success in developing that technology for real world applications.

Key Implications and Best Practices: Section 10

  • The use of IP rights is not a panacea for the management of innovation, nor is the public domain. Both public and private goods have utility and limitations. The art of innovation management is in using both public and private goods and to manage the interface between them.
  • Because public domain technologies play an important role in publicly funded research, defensive publishing can be used by public sector research institutions to help expand and reinforce the accessibility of technologies in the public domain. Academic institutions in particular should be encouraged to publish, in addition to considering IP protection.
  • Because of the case-specific applicability of defensive publishing, blanket policies that require defensive publishing by national research institutions deny them the opportunity to develop their research results strategically in combination with IP rights protection.
  • In order to realize the commercial and humanitarian potential of international markets for products and processes arising from public sector research investments, public sector research-based institutions ought to develop strategies that judiciously balance the public domain and IP rights. Commercial and humanitarian objectives and strategies are not in conflict, but rather are complementary aspects of best practices in IP management.
  • A country’s membership in the Patent cooperation treaty (PCT) can greatly help national institutions—public and private—to strengthen international technology transfer, licensing and research, and product development partnerships and can aid access to global markets.
  • Membership in the PCT can provide significant advantages and can lead to much more cost-effective examination of patent applications.
  • Harmonizing national patent systems across regions, as well as globally, can be a useful strategy for improving the effectiveness of the IP system and improving a national institution’s ability to reach foreign markets.
  • Providing for legislation, or for amendments to current statutes, that facilitates patent filing by foreign entities can be an important component of technology transfer and development.

Recommended Chapters       Show All AbstractsShow All Abstracts

Show AbstractAbstract Defensive Publishing and the Public Domain
by Sara Boettiger, Cecilia Chi-Ham

Show AbstractAbstract Patenting Strategies: Building an IP Fortress
by John Dodds