Wednesday 16 April 2008

Management of IP in knowledge transfer activities

IP Finance is grateful to guest blogger Professor Ruth Soetendorp for the following piece:

"The European Commission's recent Recommendation on the Management of IP in knowledge transfer activities combines a Code of Practice for universities and other public research organisations a set of practices for public authorities, universities and research organisations to facilitate IP management. It recognises the role IP management plays in achieving the goals of the Lisbon Strategy: circulation of use of ideas in a dynamic knowledge society and enhancing competitiveness and welfare, through converting knowledge into socio-economic benefits. Proper IP management should lead to the growth of 'an entrepreneurial culture and development of associated skills.

While not binding on Member States, a recommendation carries political weight (Wikipedia describes recommendations as instruments of indirect action aiming at preparation of legislation in Member States).

So what's recommended? Institutions should establish and publicise policies and procedures for IP management, raise the IP awareness and skills of students, sort out ownership issues to facilitate crossborder collaborations and knowledge transfer. Member States should designate a national contact point to coordinate KT between research organisations and the private sector, and should ensure widest possible implementation of the Code of Practice, ensuring equitable and fair treatment of all participants in international research projects, particularly re ownership of and access to IPR.

It covers IP policy (and publication/dissemination policy), clear rules for staff and students, incentives, IP portfolios, setting up patent/IP pools, awareness and training to promote IP identification, protection and exploitation. The recommendation (Annex II) also identifies practices to facilitate the implementation of the Code. Member States are expected to inform the Commission by 15 July 2010 and every two years thereafter of measures taken on the basis of this Recommendations, as well as their impact.

The Recommendation is a welcome endorsement of IP education for students, together with enhanced institutional IP management awareness and competence".

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