This best practice manual has been produced by AMRC’s Intellectual Property Advisory Group (IPAG) which is comprised of representatives from charities, academic institutions and commercial organisations, with the aim to support effective communication and negotiation around the commercialisation of IP. It clarifies some of the more complex issues in the area and helps resolve common problems that arise across the community of IP generators, funders and licensees.
We recognise that the research community and the charity sector are currently grappling with the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. But we wanted to share this manual to aid any ongoing IP-related discussions during this challenging time.
All participants involved in the commercialisation of IP have a shared purpose:
Sustainable translation of ground-breaking research into assets that transform patients’ lives and benefit society
This manual is designed to help negotiations and transactions run smoothly across these groups which enable the IP to flow, and improve the lives of today’s and tomorrow’s patients. It does so by:
It is NOT designed to define or specify the financial terms of IP-related deals. It is specifically intended to expand and support the sections relating to reporting and consent provided as part of the AMRC’s Guidance on intellectual property (IP) terms and conditions.
We welcome feedback on how useful you find the manual and any other areas where you would welcome clarification.
Please contact our Research Policy Manager Mehwaesh to request the IP advisors list or if you have any feedback on this manual.
The impact of medical research on patients is at the heart of charity funding decisions. Research grants are given to generate knowledge and know-how, not with an expectation of economic return. All IP generated - whether economically valuable or not - should be used to increase societal benefit through research or product development. Any economic value derived from this IP is an important by-product of charity funding.
In entering an agreement associated with IP commercialisation, it is vital that each party is aware that their contribution is a link in a larger ‘value chain’. That value chain includes charities, researchers, universities, knowledge transfer organisations, commercial partners, healthcare providers each of whom may be required to take risks in getting products to patients. Each party invests in long term infrastructure development and short-term specific projects. Each has reputation and sustainability at stake. Each link is important, and everyone involved has a shared interest in keeping the flow of delivery to the end beneficiary working. All parties should see themselves as ‘co-investors’ carrying elements of risk and opportunities for positive return.
Negotiations across the chain must be pragmatic and recognise the challenges all parties are facing, and the specific resources they are putting into creating or developing the asset in question. Wider investment decisions that each party makes – or the business models they may adopt - can form a part of the conversation but may be incidental to the specific agreement required at each link in the chain. Two key considerations in managing any discussion around IP are mutual understanding and effective communication. Communication must be clear, and timely, and those involved must be respectful of other positions.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but there are some core principles that run through every negotiation to reach a successful agreement, which are:
Two key challenges for charities and academic institutions are the issues of reporting on the status of the IP and of requesting ‘permission to commercialise’ the IP. This manual deals with both. It does NOT offer guidance on the economic outcomes of the negotiation.
1) Reporting requirements:
2) Permission to commercialise IP:
The Value Chain
This diagram shows how each member in the chain invests in long term infrastructures and short term projects. It shows how each participant takes and shares risk along the way. It demonstrates that there are more similarities than differences between the participants in the value chain, and supports the proposition that each should be treated as co-investors in any IP that moves along it. It can be used to better understand the issues faced by counterparts in any negotiation, and provides insight into how each party can help the other achieve their shared purpose.