18 August 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Universities should be more flexible

Perceived barriers could potentially be torn down by the Aarhus University’s proposed ‘patent free’ research zone, but academia should not be wedded to a single solution, according to Sean Jauss, partner at Mewburn Ellis.

Aarhus University, along with leading Danish companies such as Lego, have created the Open Science platform to move away from the patenting ‘rat race’.

The platform will allow university researchers and private companies to collaborate on projects that neither party will be able to patent. Research will be shared and be free to use.

But, commenting on the new, Jauss said: “The balance between the desire to protect IP in order to support commercial innovation and future economic activity on the one hand and with the public interest served by dissemination of those results on the other, is a reasonable solution to the perceived barriers.”

“To address the balance requires sophistication on the part of both the university and industry.”

He added: “It is not always an equal balance. For example, there may be circumstances where the best solution for a research project is more in favour of the public interest, thus favouring an open-access solution.”

Universities should be “flexible and apply solutions that best address the industrial/commercial need and societal needs”.

Subscribe for free to the next issue of IPPro Patents, published on 23 August, to read the interview with Sean Jauss in full.

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