Legal & Policy Analysis

Institutional IP Policies

Public sector research institutions in the developing world are increasingly seeking to utilize the tools of intellectual property ownership and technology transfer to bolster endogenous innovation capacity, promote regional economic development, and achieve humanitarian objectives. PIPRA has worked with national governmental agencies, universities, and private sector enterprises engaged in public-private partnerships in multiple countries to develop institutional policies for effective IP management and technology transfer.



How to build a technology transfer program


How to draft institutional IP policies, including conflict of interest and conflict of commitment policies


Best practices for IP management and technology transfer to achieve humanitarian goals


How to use contractual tools for effective technology transfer


Fostering entrepreneurship for enhanced innovation and economic development.

More information is available in a recently published study by PIPRA, reporting on the best practices for technology transfer in which 5 high profile research institutions in the Americas engage.

Contract Support

For more than 10 years, PIPRA has provided support for the negotiation and execution of multiple types of contracts to advance our mission of transferring cutting edge technologies in the agricultural, health, water, and energy sectors so that they will have the greatest social impact possible. We have provided support for the formation of contractual agreements through both in-house expertise and by mobilizing our network of pro bono attorneys. PIPRA has experience in multiple types of contracts, including:

  1. License Agreements - these are agreements through which an institution holding rights, title, and interest over an invention and its related IP rights (licensor) grants to another party (licensee) certain usage rights under specific conditions.
  2. Sponsored Research Agreements - also known as R&D agreements, these govern the funding of a research project or program by one or more companies (sponsors). The research institution usually conducts the project or program in its own facilities, although in certain instances the sponsor or a third party may perform some activities.
  3. Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) - MTAs govern the transfer and receipt of tangible materials such as biological material compounds, cell lines, vectors, proteins, viruses, animal models, genetic materials, etc. Under an MTA, the provider only transfers the tangible research property itself, while the ownership and title remain with the provider.
  4. Confidential Disclosure Agreements (CDAs) - CDAs are a type of contract that governs the exchange of confidential information between two or more parties. These are often implicated in collaborative or sponsored research projects.
  5. Assignment Agreements - these agreements govern the transfer by one party (assignor) to another (assignee) of all rights, title, and interests over certain research results, know how, inventions, and/or associated IP rights. Assignment agreements are frequently required as a term of employment as a researcher with major research institutions.
  6. Access and Benefit Sharing Agreements (ABSAs) - these agreements define the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. ABSAs are often implicated where researchers engage in bioprospecting or where indigenous knowledge is used to develop commercially valuable products based on genetic and/or biochemical resources. ABSAs are particularly important where researchers source genetic resources from countries that are parties to the Nagoya Protocol.