Your source for expert commentary on IP management issues.
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Editor-in-Chief, Anatole Krattiger
Why This Topic Is Important
While national policies shape the overall environment, innovation itself is carried out in and by institutions.
It is, therefore, the development and implementation of institutional policies and strategies that most
directly impact upon how innovations will emanate from your country’s public investments in R&D. This
section provides an overview of the most important institutional policies in guiding the management of
innovation and technology transfer while maintaining the integrity of research institutions’ core public
missions of research and/or education.
Key Implications and Best Practices: Section 5
- As the creator of inventions and technologies, your role in technology transfer is critical. So please read on!
- Your role can best be carried out if you have good relations with the technology transfer office and officers. But fulfilling your role also requires a good knowledge of and understanding of your institution’s IP policy. The policy will likely articulate ownership of intellectual property, conflict of interest, the handling of confidential information, and more. Become familiar with the content and the meaning of the various provisions and how they may affect you.
- The purpose of such a policy, and more importantly of your institution’s IP strategy, is not just to protect your inventions, but also to control technologies and IP assets in such a way as to allow you and the TTO to determine how your inventions can—and should—be used to spur economic growth and contribute to the greater public good.
- Remember, few inventions will lead to blockbuster products, make millions of dollars, or save billions of people. Have realistic expectations, especially regarding what it will take for your invention to make a difference. It is not bad to love your own creations as long as you have realistic expectations.
- More and more philanthropic donors expect to find IP management components in grant applications and to understand how intellectual property will be used to achieve global access and humanitarian benefits. This is just one reason why a close relationship with your TTO is important, and becoming even more so.
- When your institution conducts or commissions an IP audit, view this as an opportunity to better identify the intellectual property generated in your research program, to improve and streamline the management of third-party intellectual property (allowing you to concentrate more on research), and to contribute to the formulation and execution of an IP strategy that benefits your program and its (global) impact.
- One of the most important responsibilities you have is to disclose any potential conflict of interest. You are not guilty of anything if you have a potential, perceived, or even real conflict of interest. Most problems arise when conflicts are not disclosed. Clear conflict of interest policies that are followed and implemented in a transparent manner is all that is required to manage them.
Conducting IP Audits
by Michael Blakeney
Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment Management in Technology Transfer
by Alan B. Bennett
Ownership of University Inventions: Practical Considerations
by B. Jean Weidemier
The Role of the Inventor in the Technology Transfer Process
by Anne C. Di Sante