Leading US universities and IT companies have agreed a set of guiding principles for sharing intellectual property derived from collaborative research.
The Free Participant Use Principles, developed by members of the University-Industry Innovation Summit Team, are designed to provide a common starting point for discussions about collaboration.
It is intended that the guidelines will make cross-licensing easier and reduce the time it takes for innovations to go from concept to profit-making product.
The Summit Team collaborators include Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of California at Berkeley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Texas at Austin, Cisco, HP, IBM, Intel and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
The ability to speed-up contract negotiations between universities and business will result in increased innovation and competitiveness for universities as well as business, the group says.
The principles outline an additional model for handling the intellectual property rights that arise from collaborative research between companies and universities.
They will be useful in situations where the participants intend for the results to be available to each other without fee, and to be available to others on a free or reasonable-fee basis.
The principles do not define the types of research to be conducted. Use will be determined on a case-by-case basis once the research goals of the collaborators are agreed on.
"We are pleased to endorse a set of collaborative principles that set the stage for a better understanding of the common interests of industry and universities," said Juan M. Sanchez, vice president for research at the University of Texas at Austin.
"Beyond the principles themselves, the effort of the University-Industry Innovation Summit team is a clear indication that industry and universities recognise that effective collaboration is key to the nation's ability to innovate and to successfully compete globally."
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