Dartmouth Tech Transfer Office's Response to COVID-19 Related Technologies
In response to the pandemic, Dartmouth’s TTO has re-asserted its commitment to policies and practices that expeditiously implement our primary mission to transfer Dartmouth technology to our nation and the world to benefit society.
Dartmouth’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology has joined with other research institutions that have agreed on the following framework developed by Stanford, MIT and Harvard for encouraging sharing of technology during the pandemic and beyond:
COVID-19 Technology Access Framework
We strongly believe that while intellectual property rights can often serve to incentivize the creation of new products, such rights should not become a barrier to addressing widespread, urgent and essential health-related needs. To address the global COVID-19 pandemic, we are each implementing technology transfer strategies to allow for and incentivize rapid utilization of our available technologies that may be useful for preventing, diagnosing and treating COVID-19 infection during the pandemic.
To achieve our common goal, we each individually commit to the following guidelines:
1. We are committed to implementing COVID-19 patenting and licensing strategies that are consistent with our goal of facilitating rapid global access. For most types of technologies, this includes the use of rapidly executable non-exclusive royalty-free licenses to intellectual property rights that we have the right to license, for the purpose of making and distributing products to prevent, diagnose and treat COVID-19 infection during the pandemic and for a short period thereafter. In return for these royalty-free licenses, we are asking the licensees for a commitment to distribute the resulting products as widely as possible and at a low cost that allows broad accessibility during the term of the license.
2. We are committed to making vigorous efforts to achieve alignment among all stakeholders in our intellectual property, including research sponsors, to facilitate broad and rapid access to technologies that have been requested to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
3. We are committed to making any technology transfer transactions related to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic our first priority, and to minimizing any associated administrative burdens.
Dartmouth also endorses the COVID-19 Guidelines proposed by the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM):
AUTM COVID-19 Licensing Guidelines:
The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly moved the work of technology transfer offices from university and other non-profit research organizations to the battle’s front line. In order to support our Membership worldwide and enable a swift end to the crisis, AUTM is providing these guidelines, which are consistent with the Association’s long-standing support for humanitarian licensing. The AUTM Board of Directors endorses these COVID-19 Licensing Guidelines.
Technology transfer accelerates innovations that impact society and promotes the broad distribution of public health solutions. We encourage intellectual property (IP) owners to adopt a COVID-19 licensing strategy that facilitates rapid pandemic response by licensees and to make the execution of associated transactions a top priority.
For most technologies, where legally possible, this strategy is best accomplished by adopting time-limited, non-exclusive royalty-free licenses, in exchange for the licensees’ commitment to rapidly make and broadly distribute products and services to prevent, diagnose, treat and contain COVID-19 and protect healthcare workers during the pandemic (as defined by the World Health Organization).
Licenses may subsequently convert to a more typical commercial license as appropriate. Licenses must also preserve the licensor’s freedom to publish and use the intellectual property for teaching and research.
AUTM has long supported expediting research from academic and government labs around the world to the public for the good of society, as exemplified in the 2007 Nine Points to Consider in Licensing University Technology framework. Now more than ever it is important for technology transfer offices to reinforce these principles.