20th February 2013 New Delhi, India

Towards an Indo-UK IP framework for research

The cold Delhi fog didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits at the Intellectual Property (IP) workshop on 1 February.  The lively discussions focussed on the draft model agreements for managing IP in India-UK R&D collaborations. These will form an invaluable framework for businesses and universities to quickly and cheaply agree on how IP arising from an international research partnership will be managed.

Over the last year, since the first IP workshop, a lot of thought has gone into what such a framework should include. It is due to the hard work of the UK Intellectual Property Office and two IP lawyers, Christine Reid and Sunita Sreedharan, that we have progressed to this point. Christine’s involvement on the UK’s Lambert toolkit was the perfect background for this project and Sunita’s ability to quote passages from the Indian Patent Act was really impressive.

During the workshop the discussions covered a wide range of issues, from the specific e.g. the length of time an exclusive licence should be available for, to wider themes e.g. whether joint ownership of IP should be included as an option.  Everyone’s willingness to find a solution to our different national ways of working stemmed from the universal view that IP management and protection are crucial elements of innovation. Once finalised, the framework will be a freely available and entirely voluntary resource.

I particularly enjoyed the overview given by Dr Chirnside from University of St Andrews. He succinctly covered the importance of achieving a balance – between industry being able to reap the benefits of its inventions and therefore fund further R&D – and maintaining academic freedoms and publishing rights. One of the many useful graphics he used is shown below:

Intellectual Property

This practical framework is expected to be launched in March 2013, watch this space for further information.

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