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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 Senior Administrators

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 deny the opportunity to use research results strategically in combination with IP rights protection.
  • Few institutions anywhere in the world have transparent incentives for researchers or technology transfer officers to prepare defensive publications. Encouraging publication with maximum inventive disclosure through a balanced set of incentives for researchers and technology transfer officers is a useful strategy.
  • Scientists should be encouraged to use public domain technologies as research inputs whenever feasible to reduce possible future constraints in the downstream commercialization of innovations. In many circumstances, however, relying on patented technologies may be the more effective way to go, particularly when the goal is to develop products.
  • Building strong institutional capacity in IP management will enable technology managers and scientists alike to understand the complex array of options that should be considered before publishing research results or filing patent applications. Development of protocols and strategies will clarify options and retain and maximize value.
  • One such capacity centers on the decision of whether patents for an invention should be filed in a manner that does not delay publication of research results. Provisional patent applications, where possible, offer one such avenue.
  • An important component of developing an IP strategy is to document the technologies that already exist in the organization, plus those technologies in development (for example, through an IP audit). Other essential components of such a strategy are the promotion of international patent protection and the concrete steps an institution is taking to drive innovation and technology transfer.
  • Management should encourage good laboratory practices and diligent record keeping of data to ensure that research can later be used in possible regulatory filings. Doing so could lower costs and reduce the time to market.

Recommended Chapters       Show All AbstractsShow All Abstracts

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

Show AbstractAbstract A Guide to International Patent Protection
by Ann S. Viksnins, Ann M. Mccrackin

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