Intellectual Property Rights
Intellectual Property & Knowledge Management
Project 1: Intellectual Property Appropriation Strategies in Industry, Universities and
There has been over-reliance on patents and publications as tools/mechanisms for knowledge transfer within the academia/university systems. Measurements of university's innovative performance have largely been influenced by the number and impact of publications arising from its scholars as well as the number of registered patents. Beyond these tools, universities are increasingly required to engage/interact directly with their stakeholders including firms, other organizations and communities.
This over-emphasis on patents and publications creates a number of problems including:
> This lack of focus on the various forms of IP that universities can use means that universities and policymakers have not paid attention to the existence of and need for the different models that go beyond patents and publications
> Lack of understanding of the various forms of IP used/required by industry means that a model of technology transfer/sharing based on patents and patent licencing from universities may not fit with the firms business models and in effect undermine the knowledge/technology transfer between universities and industry.
Our proposed project will focus on four questions namely:
1. Whether or not more than one form of IP (patent, copyrights, open source and nonpatented technical innovation) is exchanged at the same time i.e. whether universities and firms apply multiple methods of protection
2. Whether different forms of IP are used for different strategic objectives of the universities and industry e.g. knowledge transfer, competitive positioning, innovation, financial gain
3. Which forms of IP do universities and industries find more effective in conferring certain
4. Which forms of IP do universities and industries find more efficient to use i.e. they find
less (market) obstacles when exchanging that form of IP?
Project 2: Linking research results to user communities: promoting knowledge management amongst the informal sector actors
Knowledge management is a concept that has gained popularity over the years, but mostly in formal organised structures, as opposed to informal sectors such as amongst smallholder farmers; rural communities and informal businesses. In agriculture for example, the process of knowledge generation and use is changing: first, agricultural knowledge and information as well as technologies are increasingly being generated, diffused and applied through the private sector, and secondly the knowledge structure of the agricultural sector in many countries is changing markedly, with increased overall agricultural education in many countries. The key
questions on this transformation include: how participatory and inclusive are these processes, to involve the small holder farmers? How are the smallholder farming community involved in documenting, representing and communicating their knowledge as well as the knowledge disseminated to them by other actors along the agricultural value chain? How do informal small businesses access and manage knowledge? These issues are little understood but have profound influence on promoting the development of the informal sectors.
Our project on knowledge management in the informal sector will focus on exploring and evaluating the use of participatory activities, communication approaches, methods and media to share information and knowledge among different stakeholders in the informal sector and facilitate participation of these actors in organized knowledge management.