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Editor-in-Chief,   Anatole Krattiger

Editorial Board

Concept Foundation


Fiocruz, Brazil

bioDevelopments-   Institute

Innovation and IP Management: A Contextual Overview
Topic Guide for Senior Administrators

Why This Topic Is Important

This section addresses the question of how sound intellectual property management can advance the fundamental mission of academic and public research institutions, including education, research, and outreach. In so doing, it seeks to strike a balance between those who would call for public institutions to avoid the use of formal intellectual property rights altogether and those who would have public research institutions aggressively pursue commercial goals. The vision is that of institutions engaged in the joint creation of human capital, intellectual capital, and social capital, some of which can best be disseminated into society when they are regarded as private assets.

Key Implications and Best Practices: Section 1

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.

  • Intellectual property is a tool to foster innovation. Whether viewed as a legal concept, a social construct, a business asset, or an instrument to achieve humanitarian objectives, the value of intellectual property cannot be disputed.
  • IP rights are a compromise and an imperfect solution, representing the search for balance between making all knowledge available within the public domain and granting ownership of valuable discoveries to the inventors. Reaching an appropriate balance requires continuous, sound IP management.
  • The use of the existing IP system, coupled with sound patenting/licensing strategies, resolves the apparent paradox: the pursuit of the public interest through private rights.
  • The emerging global systems of innovation in health and agriculture open up new prospects for innovation everywhere. This notion, that public interest can be served through private rights, has profound implications for the management of innovation, technology transfer, market competition, and economic development in every country, regardless of its economic status.
  • Innovation is a complex process. It is stimulated by coordinated and structured policies and programs. The IP management system is an important factor, but it is only one of six factors that determine a country or institution’s ability to innovate.
  • Public sector institutions that optimize their IP management capacity and those that have capacity in any of the additional areas, such as regulatory systems, will be better equipped to actively participate in innovation.
  • Often the most innovative organizations are those with the most dynamic networks, and those that reach out to other entities and potential partners.
  • The case studies in the insert of the Executive Guide demonstrate how public sector technology transfer can make a difference in the developing world and elsewhere.
  • Technology transfer officers should have ample opportunities for professional development and networking. Technology transfer is a field in which much information is shared informally.
  • Technology transfer and licensing are heavily context-specific. A one-size-fits-all patenting and licensing policy and strategy is rarely effective for an institution.
  • Public sector institutions ought to have ethical guidelines for IP management that are consistent with national laws and an institution’s mission.

Recommended Chapters       Show All AbstractsShow All Abstracts

Show AbstractAbstract Building Product Innovation Capability in Health
by Richard T. Mahoney

Show AbstractAbstract Ensuring Developing-Country Access to New Inventions: The Role of Patents and the Power of Public Sector Research Institutions
by Lita Nelsen, Anatole Krattiger

Show AbstractAbstract Genomics, Ethics, and Intellectual Property
by Gary E. Marchant

Show AbstractAbstract IP Management and Deal Making for Global Health Outcomes: The New “Return on Imagination” (ROI)
by John Fraser

Show AbstractAbstract The Role of IP Management in Health and Agricultural Innovation
by Richard T. Mahoney, Anatole Krattiger