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. It is important that your institution, under legal counsel, have clear policies
regarding the execution of all such agreements, including those who are officially empowered to sign
such agreements and enter the institution into such legal contracts and agreements.
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.
- No agreement will ever be perfect. Technology transfer officers who negotiate agreements that are in keeping with an institution’s policy, ought to be given full support by senior management, especially when deals are criticized from outside of the organization.
- Senior management can be instrumental by signing off on certain template agreements that can be used as a basis for negotiating deals. But a template agreement should be used only as a starting point for discussion.
- Any institution should have clear guidelines stating who is authorized to sign agreements.
Agreements: A Review of Essential Tools of IP Management
by Richard T. Mahoney, Anatole Krattiger
The Use of Nonassertion Covenants: A Tool to Facilitate Humanitarian Licensing, Manage Liability, and Foster Global Access
by Anatole Krattiger