Your source for expert commentary on IP management issues.
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Editor-in-Chief, Anatole Krattiger
The IP Toolbox
Topic Guide for Technology Transfer Managers
Why This Topic Is Important
The types of IP protection that are available constitute the fundamental toolbox that your program can use
to protect and promote the transfer and development of inventions. This section provides interpretive
introductions to each of the main types of IP protection that are relevant in agriculture and medicine,
including patents, trademarks, plant variety protections (or plant breeders’ rights), database protections,
and regulatory data exclusivity. Most chapters describe the IP laws in the context of specific countries,
while some provide more general treatments of the legal IP concepts including those developed as
international standards in TRIPS and UPOV.
Key Implications and Best Practices: Section 4
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 often perceived as constraining research, particularly in public sector institutions. your role in communicating the importance of judiciously using patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and so forth, and the benefits of good IP management, is critical. Such communication should be tailor-made to senior management, and even to your institution’s board, as well as to scientists. Each responds to a different language. (And different colleagues will require different degrees of understanding. For example, your discussions on patents will necessarily differ with scientists and patent counsel. Choose your words and the level of detail you provide judiciously.)
- In many institutional settings, making better use of patents and other forms of intellectual property requires a culture change to a greater or lesser degree. This may include establishing an expectation for scientists in your institution to regularly review patents. Encouraging scientists to share a broader IP awareness and culture will be potentially powerful and valuable.
- Trademarks are a critical, and often overlooked, option for IP protection. They can be used as stand-alone IP protection, or they can be integrated into an overall strategy for integrated IP protection, for example, a strong trademark for a patented product or process.
- Your job requires a judicious balance of work that relates directly to your benchmarks and targets, and of contributing to the overall IP culture of an organization. The latter is often not spelled out in your job description but it is important nonetheless. The greater the general level of awareness related to intellectual property, the more likely it is that the value of IP assets can be captured and utilized. And your job also becomes easier when you gain a broader understanding of intellectual property.
- Genebank management and that of genetic resources, in general, is increasingly becoming a sensitive issue. An organized, stepwise approach is vital for effectively managing a genebank and for avoiding difficulties. Ownership of genetic resources can be tricky, so rigorous documentation and clear procedures on incoming and outgoing genetic resources may be critical.
- The above point applies equally to data, both incoming and outgoing. Particularly if your institution conducts research related to product development (especially clinical trials), the confidentiality of data may be critical in ensuring global access. Specific data are a valuable form of intellectual property that can be used to obtain a certain price or access terms in licensing negotiations.
Data Protection and Data Exclusivity in Pharmaceuticals and Agrochemicals
by Charles Clift
How to Read a Biotech Patent
by Carol Nottenburg
IP and Information Management: Libraries, Databases, Geographic Information Systems, and Software
by John Dodds, Susanne Somersalo, Stanley P. Kowalski, Anatole Krattiger
Plant Breeders’ Rights: An Introduction
by William H. Lesser
Plant Variety Protection, International Agricultural Research, and Exchange of Germplasm: Legal Aspects of Sui Generis and Patent Regimes
by Michael Blakeney
Plants, Germplasm, Genebanks, and Intellectual Property: Principles, Options, and Management
by John Dodds, Anatole Krattiger, Stanley P. Kowalski
Regulatory Data Protection in Pharmaceuticals and Other Sectors
by Trevor Cook
The Statutory Toolbox: An Introduction
by John Dodds, Anatole Krattiger
The Statutory Toolbox: Plants
by Jay P. Kesan
by William Needle