The Use of Universities? Intellectual Property to Address Humanitarian Concerns in Developing Nations

Author:Maria 'Tess' Barker
Position:J.D., The University of Iowa College of Law, December 2009
Pages:923-949
The Use of Universities’ Intellectual Property to Address
Humanitarian Concerns in Developing Nations
Maria “Tess” Barker*
I. INTRODUCTION ............................................................................ 924
II. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY SYSTEMS ........................................... 925
A. Copyright ......................................................................... 925
B. Trademark ....................................................................... 926
C. Trade Secrets ................................................................... 927
D. Patents.............................................................................. 928
1. Early Patent Law .................................................. 928
2. Current Patent System ......................................... 928
3. Plant Protection Act a nd Plant Variety Protectio n
Act .......................................................................... 929
III. INTERNATIONAL PATENT-RELATED TREATIES, CONVENTIONS,
AND DOCUMENTS ........................................................................ 930
A. Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and
Artistic Works .................................................................. 930
B. Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial
Properties ......................................................................... 930
C. GATT and the WTO ........................................................ 931
D. TRIPS............................................................................... 932
E. Shortcomings in the Current International IP Regime for
Dissemination of Innovation to Developing Nations ..... 933
F. Conclusion ....................................................................... 934
IV. UNIVERSITY PARTICIPATION IN PATENT SYSTEMS ..................... 935
A. Overview of Higher Education Systems in the United
States ................................................................................ 935
B. Commercialization and Universities .............................. 936
C. Models of University IP Systems .................................... 937
1. Ivory Tower or Open Research Model .................. 937
* J.D., The University of Iowa College of Law, December 2009. I would like to thank my
colleagues at Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems for their assistance with my Note. I
would also like to thank my husband, Bill, for his never ending support.
924 TRANSNATIONAL LAW & CONTEMPORARY PR OBLEMS [Vol. 19:923
2. Unregulated Collaboration Mode l ........................ 938
3. Licensing/Patent Mode l ........................................ 938
4. Entrepreneurial University Model ....................... 939
D. Bayh-Dole Act .................................................................. 939
E. University Use of the Patent System Since the Bayh-Dole
Act ..................................................................................... 940
V. SUBJECT MATTER OF INTEREST .................................................. 941
A. Medicines and Vaccines .................................................. 941
B. Agriculture and Biotechnology ....................................... 942
VI. POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS ................................................................. 944
A. Public-Sector Intellectual Property Resource for
Agriculture ....................................................................... 944
B. Research Exemption ........................................................ 944
C. Experimental Use Exemption ......................................... 945
D. Extraterritoriality in U.S. Patent Law ........................... 946
E. BIOS Initiative ................................................................ 946
F. Private Organization Models: IRRI and AATF ............. 947
VII. PROPOSED MODEL AND CONCLUSION ......................................... 948
I. INTRODUCTION
Colleges and universities 1
This Note explores the role of U.S. universities
in the United States are uniquely positioned to
use their patentable inventions for the benefit of not only their local
communities, but also developin g nations. A variety of systems can
potentially provide a mechanism fo r universities to share their patenta ble
inventions. These syste ms allow universities to share patents without
relinquishing the rights and benefits of patent protection when dealing with
businesses in developed nations.
2
1 This Note uses the general terms “university” or “universities” to mean all higher education
institutions.
in ensuring that their
participation in the U.S. patent system promotes the use of their inventions
for humanitarian purposes, especially in the context of developing nations.
Specifically, this Note explores the fo llowing question: what type of system
2 The issues described in this Note are applicable to a university of any size, so long as it is
engaged in research and development that leads to the creation of intellectual property rights.

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