Wednesday, January 18, 2006

IP Report: More Sharing of Stem Cell Research Results

California should take steps to share its stem cell research tools and require stem cell grant recipients to provide a plan for managing their inventions for the benefit of California, the final intellectual property report of the California Council on Science and Technology says.

The general thrust of the final report seems similar to the interim report last summer with some modifications. It also seems aimed at meeting some of the complaints about how the existing Bayh-Dole model has stifled wide dissemination of research.

Here are the key findings:
"We recommend four general principles for the state’s IP policy:
"The policy is consistent with the federal Bayh-Dole Act.
"The policy creates incentives for commerce in California from state-funded research to the greatest extent possible.
"The policy encourages timely publication of results to diffuse knowledge widely, and provides guidance on the kinds of data that are desired to be placed in the public domain or available under open source, Creative Commons, or other broad-use licenses, including software and special databases.
"Requires diligent commercialization of IP-protected technology into products that benefit the public.
"With these principles in mind, we recommend that the state develop IP policies that accomplish the following:
"1. Permit grantees to own IP rights from state-funded research.
"2. Where appropriate, require that grantees (institutions, individuals, or both) provide a plan describing how IP will be managed for the advancement of science and benefit to California.
"3. Grant basic research funds without requiring that grantees commit to providing a revenue stream to the state. If, however, a revenue stream develops over time, require that revenues be reinvested in research and education.
"4. Generally, make state-developed research tools widely available to other researchers.
"5. Require diligent efforts to develop state-funded IP into applications and products that benefit the public.
"6. Retain within the state Bayh-Dole-like “march-in” rights if the owner of IP is not undertaking appropriate steps to transfer or use the technology to benefit the public.
"7. Leave license particulars to the owner who is in the best position to judge how best to ensure that discoveries are made widely available through commercialization or otherwise.
"8. Reserve the right to use IP by or on behalf of the state for research or non-commercial purposes.
"9. Establish and maintain state-administered functions to track all IP generated through state funding."
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