Saturday, July 22, 2006

CIRM Guide to Comments on IP Rules

In a useful and comprehensive document, the California stem cell agency has synthesized comments on its rules for sharing the wealth from inventions that result from CIRM-funded research by nonprofit institutions.

The report organizes and boils down lengthy criticism of the proposed regulations. Included are staff comments and annotations to specific locations in nearly 200 pages of comments and previous transcripts of CIRM hearings. The 10-page document also provides a guide to some of the thinking at CIRM that could well extend to rules for intellectual property involving grants to business.

The summary was prepared for a lightly covered hearing earlier this month during which the IP Task Force adopted some of the recommendations of biotech businesses. Those changes will go before the Oversight Committee on Aug. 2 in a hearing that is likely to refer once again to the analysis of the comments.

The summary is a bit unusual for CIRM. With some exceptions, it has not regularly or consistently produced background documents that organize and attempt to place policy issues in an accessible context. However, increasingly the agency seems to be heading in that direction, a move that well serves both the agency and its constituent publics – academia, business, California and national policymakers as well as the general public.

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