ERA guidelines on IP management in International Research Collaboration Agreements between European and Non-European Partners
Taking a lead from the European Commission’s “Recommendation on “the management of intellectual property (IP) in knowledge transfer (KT) activities and code of practice for universities and other public research organisations”, the Knowledge Transfer Working Group of the European Research Area Committee (ERAC) has issued guidelines for the management of IP by university and other public research organisation (PROs) within EU in collaboration with PROs and companies outside the EU.
The guidelines emphasise the importance of setting the considerations about IP and KT management systems in the context of an organisation's long term strategy. They describe the key factors that should be considered before entering collaboration. Among others:
- A strategic risk-benefit analysis and the determination of the scope and proposed objectives of the collaboration;
- Provisions to ensure confidentiality is maintained
- Due diligence of the partner's activities and IP position;
- An assessment of the contractual and IP legal framework in the country of potential partners;
- Obligations that are attendant to national funding awards in both the participant’s and partner's countries.
The guidelines also provide an analysis of the complex issue of how IP that was generated jointly should be owned and offer some solutions to formal joint ownership that is generally accepted to be problematic. They highlight the importance of clarifying the definition of common terms, as the interpretation of these can vary in different sectors and different countries.
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