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
such as yours. It is, therefore, the development and implementation of policies and strategies within the
institution that will most directly impact upon how innovations contribute to the economy. 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
- A sound IP policy should address, among others issues, clear ownership of intellectual property generated, conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment, the manner in which an institution will handle confidential information, the principles of the institution’s IP licensing approaches, how income arising from intellectual property will be distributed, and any rights the institution will retain (such as for research and for humanitarian uses).
- An IP strategy, on the other hand, describes the courses of action enabling the reaching of long-term goals of the institutions and the allocation of resources necessary to carry out these actions. Public sector institutions may wish to specifically address in their IP strategies how their research endeavors, in general, and IP management strategies, in particular, will achieve global access of their products and how the endeavors will benefit humanitarian objectives.
- Components of such an IP strategy may include how the institution deals with incoming third-party intellectual property, how it deals with internally generated intellectual property (patenting and other protection strategies that should include how the institution balances the public sector component of its mission with economic imperatives), and how it will out-license its intellectual property to third parties.
- Particular emphasis should be placed on global access strategies, not only because philanthropic funding agencies increasingly require grantees to address them, but because this approach is especially effective if an institution’s aim is to diffuse technology as widely as possible.
- The process by which an IP policy and IP strategy are developed may be valuable in bringing about internal culture change and create strong support from staff.
- Successful IP commercialization is built on a foundation of good relations between inventors and technology transfer professionals. Such relationships should be established long before the transfer services of the technology transfer office.
- The importance of IP audits is becoming more and more apparent, in the private and in the public sector, as public entities increasingly deal with third-party intellectual property. IP audits can be useful mechanisms that form the basis for an internal review and revision of an institution’s IP strategy and IP policy.
- Technology transfer invariably brings conflicts of interest. The challenge is to manage them in a transparent and consistent manner. Importantly, potential conflicts of interest should not be viewed in a negative light. Most real conflicts arise when potential conflicts are not disclosed.
Conducting IP Audits
by Michael Blakeney
Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment Management in Technology Transfer
by Alan B. Bennett
IP Management Policy: A Donor’s Perspective
by Zoë Ballantyne, Daniel Nelki
by Robert Pitkethly
Making the Most of Intellectual Property: Developing an Institutional IP Policy
by Stanley P. Kowalski
Ownership of University Inventions: Practical Considerations
by B. Jean Weidemier