IP Toolkit for Collaboration
The Australian IP Toolkit for Collaboration (IP Toolkit), a joint project between the Department of Industry and Science and IP Australia, is designed to facilitate, simplify and improve collaboration between researchers and industry.
The IP Toolkit contains guides and tools to help researchers and businesses use and manage intellectual property (IP) in collaborations.
The IP toolkit is available at www.business.gov.au/iptoolkit.
Why was the IP Toolkit developed?
The IP Toolkit was developed to offer guidance and provide the tools necessary to simplify and improve discussions around Intellectual Property (IP) in research collaborations. It aims to provide information and resources to help establish the terms for managing and using IP in collaborations between business and researchers.
It also aims to reduce unnecessary delays, costs and difficulties with research collaboration.
Feedback on the draft IP Toolkit
The Department of Industry and Science and IP Australia invited interested parties to respond to a draft version of the IP Toolkit by 20 February 2015.
The Department of Industry and Science and IP Australia considered responses to consultation processes which greatly enhanced the IP Toolkit.
In response to stakeholder feedback major enhancements included:
- Guidance on additional issues, such as joint IP ownership, in the IP Toolkit.
- Development of Mini IP Toolkit guidance and tools for lower value and/or less complex collaborations.
- Creation of a Mini Model contract also for lower value and/or less complex collaborations.
- Provision of a Model Confidentiality Agreement to facilitate discussions concerning confidential material.
- Development of commercialisation and IP scenarios to complement the case studies.
- Provision of further additional resources and useful links.
- Optimisation of tools for print environments.
In addition significant work was undertaken to enhancing the readability, clarity and the user-friendly nature of the IP Toolkit.
The following submissions on the draft IP Toolkit were received at IPToolkit@industry.gov.au:
Common themes in feedback on the draft IP Toolkit
Based on feedback from 23 written responses, including two confidential submissions and survey responses not intended for publication.
- Does the draft IP Toolkit offer useful guidance and tools to simplify and improve discussions on IP in research collaborations?
- It was agreed in most of the written responses that the draft IP Toolkit offered useful guidance and tools to simply and improve discussions on IP in research collaborations.
- A common theme in the written feedback was that the IP Toolkit would be of most use to small-to-medium businesses and individual researchers with little or no prior exposure to IP and collaboration.
- What is the most useful part and why?
What is the least useful part and why?
- The considerations checklist and model term sheet were often considered to be the most useful resources as they highlight the relevant considerations in establishing formal agreements and may reduce unnecessary delays, costs and risks.
- The case studies were also commonly identified as useful real life examples which showcase the benefits of successful collaboration between researchers and industry.
Are there any gaps in the information provided?
- The model contract was identified by some as being too long and detailed for simple or low-value projects and for collaborations involving smaller parties. Some also indicated it could be less useful to larger organisations that have their own model contracts.
- The conceptual chart was identified by some as not well integrated into the draft toolkit.
How could the draft IP Toolkit be improved for the target audiences of SMEs and researchers?
- Particular subjects were identified for greater focus or inclusion in the IP Toolkit including for example, the challenges of joint-ownership of IP and the role of legal advice.
Any other comments or suggestions for improvement?
- It was suggested that some of the existing detail in the draft IP Toolkit could be accessed through links or attachments instead.
- Some suggested that the sample term sheet should be presented in a more user-friendly format.
- A development of additional abridged versions of both the model contract and the remaining part of the toolkit was proposed. This was to increase the engagement with the target audiences of SMEs and individual researchers and the abridged contract would be more suited for low value and less complex collaborations.
- It was suggested by many that more use of case studies, inclusion of videos, development of interactive applications and other mechanisms could improve the resource.
- The reordering of the IP Toolkit was proposed to place the information and context at the front prior to the tools section for easier use by parties having less knowledge.
- The inclusion of a short non-disclosure agreement was suggested by some to allow potential collaborators to discuss the project and use of the collaboration output in detail and manage the risk of disclosing sensitive details.
- Suggestions were made in some submissions for support activities, such as training programs, to assist in adoption of the toolkit by the intended target audience.