Past Projects


IP Information Clearinghouse

One of PIPRA’s foundational programs was its clearinghouse for patent information within the agricultural sector. The initiative created and embodied a common source of information on public/non-profit patented technologies, and comprised a searchable database of PIPRA members’ technologies that could be accessed by both members’ technology management staff and the general public.

The IP information clearinghouse contained data related to patents and patent applications across 72 reporting jurisdictions. Although PIPRA members were required to provide information such as the licensing status of each of their technologies, they were not required to disclose any of their licensees’ information. Furthermore, all licensing decisions were left to the individual clearinghouse members owning the IP.

PIPRA’s database was distinct from others in that it moved beyond the mere provision of data to the enablement of collaborative working relationships with the owners of the technologies it contained. Furthermore, it was designed in a way that facilitated assistance with ancillary issues to licensing, such as receipt of know-how and navigation of liability and stewardship issues.

While PIPRA’s IP information clearinghouse provided a powerful resource for the development of agricultural technologies for the public good, we eventually repurposed the organization to meet the needs of our stakeholders, which recently have shifted towards capacity building and education surrounding IP management and technology transfer, and which have increasingly taken PIPRA’s personnel outside of the United States to work directly on-site with public agencies in developing countries.

Nevertheless, the experience that we gained through establishing and managing the IP information clearinghouse has proven to be elementary to our current IP landscape and FTO analysis services.

Biotechnology Laboratory Research

PIPRA’s research laboratories are based at the University of California, Davis and focus specifically on plant biotechnology, to support agricultural projects for downstream commercial deployment and humanitarian applications. Scientific research and development strategies take into consideration technical, as well as IPR, freedom-to-operate, regulatory, and other issues critical for successful commercialization. PIPRA’s laboratory and IP analysis staff work jointly in identifying and testing plant transformation biotechnologies to develop improved crops.

Its research capacities allow PIPRA to:

  1. Perform agricultural biotechnology laboratory research and greenhouse and field testing.
  2. Design research strategies that address regulatory issues in plant biotechnology.
  3. Partner in mining for key traits to address agricultural needs.
  4. Provide biotechnologies, DNA plant transformation vectors, with the potential to develop marker-free plants.
  5. Test biotechnology in crop or model plants (test traits, promoters, etc.)
  6. Offer plant transformation services for pre-commercial screening.
  7. Provide expertise in developing genetically engineered improved crops.

One of PIPRA’s biotechnology innovations was the pPIPRA vector, a suite of complementary technologies that permitted the transfer of foreign genes into plant cells which conferred maximum freedom to operate on users in public sector research institutions. The development of the pPIPRA vector required the creation of a pool of proprietary technologies that can be distributed under a set of defined terms for research, humanitarian, and commercial uses. For more information about how to obtain access to the pPIPRA vector, contact us.


The collaboration between the Foundation for Agrarian Innovation (FIA) of Chile and PIPRA unfolded between 2009 and 2013, according to FIA’s strategic objectives of supporting institutional and national innovation through effective IP management, and facilitation of technology transfer in the agricultural sector.

In 2008, PIPRA carried out a detailed needs assessment surrounding IP management and technology transfer practices in multiple Chilean public agricultural research institutions, identifying strengths, opportunities, and challenges in the extant systems. As the result of this needs assessment, PIPRA recommended the creation of a National Intellectual Property Center for the Chilean agricultural sector.

Beginning in 2009, the FIA-PIPRA Pilot Program was proposed with the objective to promote innovation in the Chilean agricultural and food production sectors in different stages through the creation of new processes and products.

Finally, in 2010, PIPRA created a Spanish language version of its resource manual, “Intellectual Property Management in Health and Agriculture: A Handbook of Best Practices,” along with a practice guide. These publications were distributed among the Ministry of Agriculture and other governmental agencies, academic institutions, and other public institutes.

The FIA-PIPRA Program was comprised of four thematic areas, each of which was realized through diverse activities:

  1. Development and implementation of institutional policies for IP management and technology transfer to enable innovation.
  2. Support for the creation of human capital with capacities in IP management and innovation.
  3. Promotion and strengthening of national and international networks for collaboration between actors in distinct parts of the innovation value chain.
  4. Support for IP management in projects, programs, and institutions to maximize the use of IP tools to generate innovation.

USPTO Workshop Series

From 2009-2011, PIPRA conducted an 18-month program supported by the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Intellectual Property Initiative. The goal of the program was to “foster innovation and competitiveness by delivering IP information and education” in countries with nascent IP protection systems in East Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Africa.

The program included a series of 6 international workshops designed for innovators and policymakers, in which basic concepts of IP protection, licensing, and commercialization were introduced. Workshops were held in Vietnam, South Africa, Costa Rica, Ukraine, Kenya, and China.

Each workshop averaged 70 participants, with audiences that included scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, policymakers, IP managers, and administrators. All events were organized in collaboration with local stakeholders, such as the national patent and trademark offices (PTOs), universities, trade and interest groups. Instructors included a mixture of experts from the United States and the local countries, with a focus on individuals with experience in public sector research institutions.

While most education about IP rights in developing economies focused at the time on enforcement and trade, the PIPRA workshops centered on the role of IP in translating research to commercialization. Additionally, efforts were undertaken to tailor the message to each local audience, so that workshop participants could understand how IP can benefit them, and how to use IP in their work.

At the conclusion of the series of the 6 international workshops, PIPRA – with support from the USPTO Intellectual Property Initiative – launched the first edition of the Licensing Academy course. For more information about this two-week program, which entered into its 5th edition in 2015, refer to the Licensing Academy section.


Licensing Academy: Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer™

Curso de 2 semanas acreditado por UC Davis, realizado cada mes de junio de los años 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 y 2015 en Davis, California, EE.UU.

Academia de Transferencia y Comercialización de Tecnología para las Américas

Curso de 2 semanas acreditado por UC Davis, realizado en noviembre de 2013, diciembre de 2014 y marzo 2016 en La Paz, Baja California Sur, México.

Serie de Talleres para Participantes Innovadores y Formuladores de Políticas

Gestión de Propiedad Intelectual y Comercialización para Universidades y Centros de Investigación Gubernamentales

Talleres de 1 día en julio de 2011 en Beijing y Kunming, China.

Gestión de Propiedad Intelectual y Comercialización de Tecnología

Taller de 2 días en mayo de 2011 en Nairobi, Kenia.

Gestión de Propiedad Intelectual y Comercialización de Tecnología en los Países CIS

Taller de 2 días en mayo de 2011 en Kiev, Ucrania.

Derechos de Propiedad Intelectual para Impulsar la Innovación y la Competitividad

Taller de 2 días en noviembre de 2010 en San José, Costa Rica.

Estrategia de PI para las Pequeñas y Medianas Empresas

Taller de 1 día en septiembre de 2010 en Ciudad del Cabo, Sudáfrica.

Derechos de Propiedad Intelectual y la Integración Profundizada de Vietnam en la Economía Global

Taller de 2 días en mayo de 2010 en Hanói, Vietnam.

Talleres Internacionales para Investigadores Científicos, y Gestores de PI y Tecnologías en los Centros de Investigación Pública

Potenciación de los Organismos de Transferencia: Universidad del Desarrollo

Curso de 10 días en febrero-marzo de 2015 en Concepción, Chile.

Gestión de Propiedad Intelectual para la Innovación

Taller de 3 días en diciembre de 2014 en Guadalajara, México.

Mejores Prácticas para la Gestión de PI para los Investigadores del Sector Público

Talleres de 1 día en abril y octubre de 2014 en las Estaciones Experimentales de Santa Catalina, Litoral Sur, y Amazónica Central, Ecuador.

Derechos de Propiedad Intelectual para la Innovación

Taller de 2 días en octubre de 2011 en Montevideo, Uruguay.

Gestión de Propiedad Intelectual para Apoyar a la Innovación del Sector Agrícola de Colombia

Taller de 2 días en agosto de 2010 en Bogotá, Colombia.

Rol de las Instituciones de Investigación del Sector Público en el Proceso de la Innovación Biotecnológica

Taller de 2 días en diciembre de 2009 en Mérida, México.

Derechos de Propiedad Intelectual, Transferencia Tecnológica, y Herramientas de Investigación

Taller de 2 días en agosto de 2007 en Santiago, Chile.