A Global Agricultural Research Partnership

Working together to better manage CGIAR intellectual assets

Participants of the CGIAR Consortium Legal/IP Network meeting held at ICRISAT-Patancheru, India. (Photo credit: ICRISAT/PS Rao)

Throughout CGIAR, the management of Intellectual Assets requires a careful balancing act of sometimes seemingly opposite objectives.  How does one find the correct balance between say maximizing global accessibility v. minimizing risk of misappropriation/misuse? Or, maintaining commitment to International Public Goods v. leveraging strengths of private sector partners?

These complex issues are the kinds of challenges tackled by the CGIAR Consortium Legal & Intellectual Property Network (or CLIPnet for short); a multi-disciplinary group from the members of the CGIAR Consortium comprising of lawyers, grant managers, and senior managers from genetic resources, communications and corporate services.  Last month the group met for their Annual Meeting, this year hosted by ICRISAT.  Over the 3-day meeting members of the group swapped ideas, experiences and practical advice on a range of issues such as; challenges of using standard contracts with some donor organizations, ensuring IP clauses in grant contracts and agreements are effectively managed, and how to flow down principles relating to management of intellectual assets to a diverse range of partner organizations.

A significant amount of time was set aside during the meeting to deal with the task of drafting guidelines for the implementation of the CGIAR Principles on the Management of Intellectual Assets (CGIAR IA Principles).  Back in February 2012, these CGIAR IA Principles were approved and adopted by the CGIAR Consortium, with the unanimous support of its members.  What is now required is a set of guidelines to put these Principles into operation.  Increased reliance on partnerships and engagement with the private sector present particular challenges and these issues were discussed extensively during the meeting.  The network’s working group will continue to draft the document which is aimed to be completed by the end of this year.  Interviews with members from the network will follow.

For more information:
See the CGIAR IA Principles and other legal/IP documents relevant to CGIAR
The CGIAR Consortium Legal & Intellectual Property Network is coordinated by the Consortium Legal Counsel.

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