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Intellectual Property Issues

The Challenge: Researchers routinely seek patents and other intellectual property protections for their inventions. Intellectual property protections provide an important incentive for innovation by rewarding researchers and companies for their efforts. But if not properly managed, intellectual property protections can hinder innovation by preventing researchers from sharing information and working together to solve major problems.

Recommendations: The Enterprise scientific plan calls on the HIV vaccine field to agree on intellectual property arrangements that balance the need to incentivize and protect individual researchers or companies, and the need to promote greater and more rapid sharing of information among scientists that can lead to potential breakthroughs in HIV vaccine research.

These may include agreements against litigation, mutually beneficial license and patent ownership arrangements, and legal counsel to Enterprise participants on patent and intellectual property issues. In addition, the plan recommends that intellectual property arrangements be used to recognize the important contributions of developing countries to HIV vaccine researchfor example, by granting rights to affordable access to effective vaccines.

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