The IPR chapter of the 1998 US/EU treaty on scientific and technological cooperation. Time for an update?

In 1998 a treaty on R&D went into force between the United States and the European Communities. The “Agreement for scientific and technological cooperation between the European Community and the Government of the United States of America – Intellectual property” sets out a list of cooperative activities in Article 4, and provides an appendix addressing the intellectual property rights that come from those collaborations.

(Link to treaty summary and text here, and pages 1-3 setting out the nature of the collaboration pages 7-8 setting out the IPR agreement available here.)

The provisions on the management of intellectual property the same as are used in many other US billateral agreement on scientific and technolical cooperation.

In the Annex on Intellectual property, the parties agree that “Each party shall be entitled to a non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license in all countries to produce, publicly distribute and translate scientific and technical journal articles, non-proprietary scientific reports and books directly arising from cooperation under this Agreement. ” [Annex, II(A)] The agreement also provides rules for “Rights to all forms of intellectual property, other than those rights described in paragraph II(A).” These include a requirement that “visiting researchers, for example, scientists visiting primarily in furtherance of their education, shall receive intellectual property rights rights under arrangement with their host institutions” and named inventors “shall be entitled to treatment as a national of the host country with regard to awards, bonuses, benefits or any other rewards.”

In Annex II(B)(2)(a), parties are required to “jointly develop a technology management plan” for intellectual property created during joint research, that “shall consider the relative contributions of the Parties and their participants, the benefits of licensing by territory or for fields of use” and other factors.

Disputes under the agreement are solved through arbitration, following the arbitration rules of Uncitral.

The agreement has been extended and expanded several times.

Those working on issues such as humanitarian licensing of government funded inventions, or open access rules, may want to look at this language, and think about how it might be updated or expanded, in the TTIP negotiations.