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INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS (IPR) POLICY

  • 1.0. INTRODUCTION
  • Faculty, staff and students of SRIHER are engaged in Research & Development work of diverse nature. Many of these R & D Programmes lead to evolution of intellectual property (IP) in the form of patents, know-how, copyrights, designs, instruments, devices, processes, specimens, diagnostic kits and other inventions, which can be commercially exploited either with or without registration under the Patents Act/Copyright Act. Such a commercial exploitation can be of considerable socio-economic benefit to the country. SRIHER therefore, encourages the protection and licensing of such IP to organizations which can effectively utilize the same for commercial exploitation. This would yield financial returns to the Institute, and partially support the R & D programmes of SRIHER.

    Intellectual property could result from research supported by SRIHER or Government funding agencies or from research supported by Industry or Non-Government organizations, or Charities or Philanthropists. Funded research may impose contractual obligation on SRIHER with respect to ownership/licensing of intellectual property, which have to be agreed upon clearly and explicitly at the time the contracts are entered into. This Policy document on IPR states the policy of SRIHER with respect to protection, ownership and licensing of IP that is generated with/without external funding.

  • 1.1 Guidelines:
  • This IPR policy is to be followed in all matters related to IPR at SRIHER. In view of the evolving nature of the IP scenario, this policy may be modified from time to time to suit the National Act/Norms/emergent needs. The IPR committee will address such specific cases by using this IPR policy document as the guideline.

    The Central Research Facility is the co-ordinating body of SRIHER for processing all IPR related matters addressed in this policy, viz. any intellectual property generated out of the intellectual effort of the ‘inventor’ employed temporarily or permanently at SRIHER or studying at SRIHER.

    2.0. Objective

    The objective of this policy document is to lay down the policy to:

    2.1. Foster, stimulate and encourage creative activities in the widest sense in the areas of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Biomedical & Allied Health Sciences, Public Health, Clinical Research, Sports Sciences, Physiotherapy, Nursing and Management.

    2.2. Protect the legitimate interests of faculty/scholars/students of SRIHER and the society and to avoid as far as possible conflict of opposing interests.

    2.3. Lay down a transparent administration system for the ownership control and assignment of intellectual properties and sharing of the revenues generated by the intellectual properties generated and owned by SRIHER.

    3.0. Definitions

    The meaning of terms in these rules is as given below, unless the context otherwise requires.

    3.1. “Copyright” means the exclusive right granted by law for a certain period of time to an author to reproduce, print, publish and sell copies of his or her creative work.

    3.2. “Inventor/Creator” means any employee of SRIHER, Chennai and includes those who are on probation, those who are employed on temporary basis either in SRIHER and/or in projects and those who are research workers, research scholars or students who are responsible for the creation of an Intellectual Property, using the facilities of SRIHER.

    3.3. “Dean” means the Dean (Research) of SRIHER, Chennai who coordinates all research activities of SRIHER.

    3.4. “Intellectual Property” broadly includes any property generated out of intellectual effort of the Inventor(s), creator(s). It includes but not limited to

    3.4.1. New and useful scientific and technical advancement in the form of innovations, inventions, products and processes, diagnostic kits, medical devices, drug candidates, materials, biological varieties etc. which are Patentable.

    3.4.2 Teaching resource materials generated, records of research, Manuals, Innovative SOPs, Surgical techniques, etc.,which are Copy-rightable

    3.4.3. Trademarks, service marks, logos etc.,

    3.5. “IPR Committee” The committee constituted by the Vice Chancellor / Dean (Research) from time to time to evaluate and make recommendations regarding IP related issues.

    3.6.. “Patent” means a patent granted under the provisions of the Indian Patents Act, 1970

    3.7. “Patentee” means the person for the time being entered on the Register of Patents kept under the Indian Patents Act, 2002 as the generator or proprietor of the patent.

    3.8. “Revenue” is any payment received as per an agreement by SRIHER usually for leagal use of an Intellectual Property through a license.

    3.9. “SRIHER” means Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research (Deemed to be University)

    4.0. Ownership

    4.1. Inventions, products, processes, devices, diagnostic kits, drug-candidates, creative works:

     

    4.1.1. SRIHER shall be the owner of all intellectual properties (IP) including inventions, products processes, devices, diagnostic kits, drug-candidates developed by Creators/Inventors, unless specific agreements / contracts are entered into by SRIHER as described below, prior to the creation of the IP, with an agency funding the research leading to the creation of the IP, or with and agency funding the research leading to the creation of the IP, or with a temporary employee or student.

    4.1.2. Specific provisions related to IPR made in contracts governing the collaborative activity shall determine the ownership of IP arising out of sponsored or collaborative research, or consultancy assignment. The MoU / contract for such a project may require (a) joint ownership of such IP between SRIHER and the sponsor, or (b) exclusive licensing of such IP owned by SRIHER to the sponsor or its nominees, or (c) a separate agreement / contract to be entered into at a later date consequent to creation of such IP, for exclusive / non-exclusive ownership / licensing of the IP.

    In all these cases, the contract / agreement / MOU will specify conditions such as right of first refusal to such IP if applicable, the fee/royalty payable for ownership / licensing of such IP as applicable, and also specify how the patent filing, registration and maintenance costs will be borne by the sponsor and / or SRIHER. When faculty / staff enter into an agreement for undertaking sponsored research or consultancy, they are required to assist SRIHER to determine which of the above options is applicable to the particular project given the nature of research proposed to be undertaken, the degree to which prior relevant expertise of the researchers and SRIHER facilities are leveraged, and the amount of funding provided.

    4.1.3. If an IP is created as a result of a sponsored research project or consultancy assignment / project where the contract / MOU / agreement does not specify the ownership and / or licensing of such IP, SRIHER and the sponsor shall jointly own the IP. SRIHER may however, if it deems appropriate, enter into a separate agreement / contract with the sponsor for licensing the IP to it, which will specify payment of additional fees / royalty.

    4.1.4. An employee of SRIHER who is on sabbatical or other forms of long leave or a student who is on leave or is permitted by SRIHER to be employed in an organization while being registered as a student, and who is engaged in research in an/the organization with the permission of SRIHER, will be permitted to directly negotiate with the organization, the terms of any IP sharing that is generated, in its entirety and without any use of SRIHER resources, during the period of the engagement in that organization. However, any revenue that is received by the employee/student subsequently while on duty at SRIHER, as royalty / fees for the IP generated as above, shall be subjected to the prevailing IPR revenue sharing norms of SRIHER. IP developed by the said employee or student during this period without involvement of Creators/ Invertors, who are employees or students of SRIHER will be outside the purview of this policy. However, in case the IP so created by the employee/student, during the leave period as described above, is based in part or full on prior IP developed at SRIHER, the employee/student is required to inform SRIHER and enable SRIHER to enter into a licensing agreement with the organization in which the employee/student is temporarily engaged.

    4.2. Copyrightable Works:

    4.2.1 Ownership of copyright of all copyrightable work including books and publications shall rest with the Creator / Inventor of the original work with the following exceptions:

    • If the work is produced during the course of sponsored and/or collaborative activity, specific provisions related to IPR made in contracts governing such activity shall determine the ownership of the copyright.

    4.2.2. SRIHER shall be the owner of the copyright of work, including Books, Manuals, Policy reports etc., created with significant use of SRIHER resources.

    4.2.3. SRIHER shall be the owner of the copyright on all teaching material developed as part of any of the academic/distance learning programs of SRIHER. However, the Creator(s)/Inventors shall have the right to use the material in her/his professional capacity.

    4.3. Trade Marks(s) / Service Mark(s):

    Ownership of trade mark(s), service mark(s) and logos created for SRIHER shall be with SRIHER.

    In cases of all IP produced at SRIHER, it is strongly desired to retain a non-exclusive, free, irrevocable license to copy/use the IP for teaching and research purposes only, consistent with confidentiality agreements entered into by SRIHER if any. This is to enable the SRIHER to benefit from IP created by its staff and students for carrying out its teaching and research functions.

    5.0 Evaluation and Management of IP

    The Patent Cell at the Central Research Facility (CRF) of SRIHER is responsible for evaluating, protecting, marketing, licensing and managing the IP generated at SRIHER. The Creators / Inventors of the IP shall provide all the necessary information to Central Research Facility to enable it to determine whether SRIHER desires to own and manage the IP. An invention will typically be patented by SRIHER if it has ultimate commercial motivation and viability. In the case of patentable IP, it is essential that patent protection is filed before publication or disclosure in any other form in public domain of the patentable IP.

    5.1. The IPR Committee with Dean (Research) as convenor, IPR Expert with one or two subject experts along with the Creator/Inventor, will examine the IP application and will then make specific recommendations regarding Patentability/Registration of the proposal by SRIHER. The committee may seek the assistance of IPR experts/attorneys for this purpose. In all these endeavors, confidentiality of the IP shall be strictly ensured.

    5.2. In case the contract / agreement / MOU with a  sponsor specifies that the sponsor will manage the process of filing of patents and bear the associated cost, the Creators /Inventors will provide information to the Patent Cell / CRF of each such filing / application. Details of invention need not be provided in such cases in the interest of confidentiality, if so desired.

    Progress of the application through various stages, such as PCT, national phase, etc will be informed to the Patent Cell / CRF by the Creators/Inventors  as and when the Creators / Inventors become aware of such progress.

    6.0. Registration of patents / copyrights:

    6.1. Filing of Applications in India

    Creators / Inventors of the know how / products / instruments / devices / processes / specimens and other such IP, who want to get patent(s) for the patentable IPs, are required to make an application for the purpose to  Dean (Research), SRIHER as per the procedure specified by SRIHER at the time. In case, a sponsor of the research leading to the IP has contractually undertaken the responsibility of filing of applications, the Creator / Inventor may interact with the sponsor for the filing, after informing the Patent Cell / Central Research Facility of the same. The Creator is required to keep the Patent Cell / Central Research Facility informed of the progress of the application as it goes through various stages. In such instances, the details of the application such as Patent application number title, name(s) of Creators/Inventors, etc must be provided, although the invention details need not be provided as long as the details are not public knowledge in the patenting process.

    Creator(s) / inventors are encouraged to file a provisional patent as soon as possible in order to protect their rights to the IP. As part of this process, a search report can also be obtained on existing patents that may relate to the key contributions of the proposed patent, to assist the Creator(s) / Inventor(s) in their decision regarding filing of an application with the help of SRIHER – IPR consultant. If the Creator(s)/Inventors can pay for the cost of provisional filing from (a) the funds of the research project resulting in the IP, or (b) personal financial resources of the creator(s), the permission for filing of provisional patent will be given automatically before evaluation of the application made by the creator(s) / inventor(s) by the IPR Committee. However, should SRIHER after due evaluation decide not to manage the IP, the provisional application will lapse, unless the creator(s) decide to take up the subsequent stages on their own. If Institute decides to jointly or fully own and manage the IP, it will bear all costs related to filing and protection after the date on which it decides to do so.

    IP-related information will either not be disclosed at all, or be provided on a need-to-know basis to certain employees of SRIHER. All Institute employees associated with any activity of SRIHER shall treat all such IP-related information, which they may have access to as part of their official duties, as confidential. Such confidentiality shall be maintained till such time as required by SRIHER or by the relevant contract, if any, between the Institute and concerned parties, unless such knowledge is in the public domain or is generally available to public.

    6.2. Filing of Applications in Foreign Countries

    SRIHER may consider requests for registration of Patents in foreign countries, based on the merit of the IP. Typically, the process to be followed in such cases is the filing of a provisional application, detailed evaluation of the commercial potential of the IP in the countries proposed for filing, filing of PCT application in case such potential is present, followed by national phase filing in the selected countries. During the time before the process reaches the national phase, the commercial potential will be continually assessed, and if at any time it appears that the commercial potential in a foreign country appears to be low, SRIHER may decide not to file in the particular country. During this period, the Creator(s)/Iinventor(s) are also encouraged to apply for financial support for international filing being provided by several ministries / industries or other commercial organizations. If SRIHER decides not to file such a patent in any foreign country. SRIHER shall assign the rights for the IP in that country to the Creator(s)/Inventor(s) and permit the Creator(s)Iinventor(s) to protect the IP in that country either on their own or in partnership with a sponsor. Any revenue accruing to the Creator(s)/Iinventor(s) as a result of exploitation of the rights assigned to the creator(s)/inventor(s) in that country will be subject to the rules for sharing of revenue with the Institute that are applicable to creator(s)/inventor(s) as per their employment / enrollment contracts. The creator(s)/inventor(s) may seek re-imbursement of the costs borne by them for protection of the IP in that country from the revenue prior to sharing with the Institute.

    In case the patenting costs are borne by the sponsor of a research project as agreed upon in the contract / agreement, the Patent Cell / Central Research Facility only needs to be kept informed of the progress of the international patent application(s) through various phases such as PCT, national phases, etc. The sponsor may choose any legal firm of their choice, for the filing. If SRIHER takes up the filing, the Creator(s)/Inventor(s) are required to engage SRIHER approved IPR Expert / Firm for filing from time to time.

    7.0. Renewal of Patents

    SRIHER will pay the Patent Fees for the first seven years in all cases where patent is taken by SRIHER. If it is a joint patent with a sponsoring agency, the patenting costs may be equally shared. If the patent has been commercially exploited within the first seven years, SRIHER shall pay the Patent Fees for the remaining period of the life of the patent. If the patent has not been commercially exploited within the first seven years, SRIHER and the Creator(s)/Inventor(s) shall share the subsequent installments of renewal fees on 50:50 basis. If the Creator does not show interest in such renewals, SRIHER can either continue maintenance of the patent by paying the fees for its full term or withdraw application for Patent protection at its discretion.

    8.0. Confidentiality of IP

    Every creator in the group as well as everyone involved in the protection process will not disclose the details of the IP to any person / organisation without prior written permission of SRIHER from Dean (Research).

    In case of thesis and other such written documents containing details of patentable IP, all measures to avoid attracting the public disclosure clause leading to denial of patent may be taken by Creator(s)/Inventor(s). It is best if the Creators make provisional patent filings before documenting the details of the IP in theses, papers and other documents.

    9.0. Licensing of IP

    SRIHER through its Patent Cell / Central Research Facility, or its agents, or the Creator(s)/Inventor(s) may approach external agencies for licensing of IP owned by it. All agreements shall be signed by the Dean (Research) and the Creator(s)/Iinventor(s) of the IP being transferred, on behalf of the Institute.

    In case of IP involving more than one Creator/Inventor, the first in the list of creator(s)/inventor(s) shall be identified by the creators, for IP protection purposes. At this stage, all members of the group of Creators/Inventors shall sign a revenue sharing agreement for the IP being transferred. This revenue sharing agreement may be modified at any time on mutual consent among the Creator(s)/Iinventor(s) and intimated to the Dean (Research). Any conflict with regard to revenue sharing among the Creators will be resolved by SRIHER through CRF-IPR Committee which is binding on all the Creator(s)/Iinventor(s) of the IP.

    10.0. Revenue sharing

    10.1. The revenue shall be divided among the Creators/Inventors as per the prevailing IPR revenue sharing norms of SRIHER at the time of signing of the agreement based on SRIHER consultancy policy and rules. In case the patent filing and registration costs for one or more countries are not borne by SRIHER, the Creator(s)/Inventor(s) can first deduct the costs incurred by them in this regard.Maintenance of such patents shall be met from income accruing to the Creator/Inventor from the commercial exploitation of the patent in those countries. Excess income beyond such recovered costs will be shared with SRIHER as per the prevailing norms of SRIHER as mentioned above. Any MOU signed by SRIHER with the sponsoring agency based on which the IP is generated, or with any patent filing organization, may supersede provision under this clause.

    10.2. The Creator(s)/Inventor(s) can start a new research project with the amount available to them from such revenue, i.e. the entire amount or a partial amount of the Creator’s/Inventor’s share can be put into a new research project for further development on the patent topic or further research in a related area. On request by the Creator(s)/Inventor(s) SRIHER may contribute an equal share, but the maximum share of such contribution by SRIHER will be limited to 50% of the revenue accruing to the institute in that IP.

    11.0. Copyright

    11.1. All Ph.D / M.D / M.S/ M. Pharm / M.Sc. theses are to be copyrighted with a copyright note: © SRI RAMACHANDRA INSTITUE OF HIGHER EDUCATION & RESEARCH (DEEMED TO BE UNIVERSTIY) (year). All rights reserved. The Books,Technical reports, Review works,etc., may also be copyrighted, if the author wishes to copyright. SRIHER policy reports, Manuals, Programme specific curricula, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), novel e-resources etc., can also be submitted for copyright.

    11.2. The author of a report may also request to copyright on behalf of SRIHER any other material which he / she considers it as novel and unique contribution to teaching, healthcare and research.

    11.3. While copyrighting the thesis, it is the responsibility of the Creator/Inventor to ensure that the contents do not violate any copyright rules. If diagrams, tables and text are reproduced from any other copyrighted work, prior permission is to be obtained by the Creators from the owner of the copy right document from where the material is taken.

    11.4. If information from some other sources is included, appropriate acknowledgement has to be given to this source, as per copyright law and cleared through the software based plagiarism check.

    11.5. Exceptions:

    11.5.1 The ownership of the copyrights by SRIHER in no way deprives the claims of the Creators / authors to publish the contribution in scholarly and intellectual journala, and their authority to improve, publish and propagate the work. When a journal that accepts a paper submitted by an employee / student requires copyright for the paper to be given to them before publishing the said paper, the employee / student may do so.

    11.5.2. The Institute may waive ownership of copyrights it owns in favor of the author(s), contributor(s) on request.

    11.5.3. Students and scholars may be allowed ownership of the copy rights to their works provided,

    11.5.3.1. They do not result from works for which they had received financial or supervisory support of any form from or through SRIHER

    11.5.3.2.  The work does not include any material generated entirely or partially with the help of SRIHER  facility or ongoing research programme or the intellectual input of any employee of SRIHER..

    12.1. Faculty members, Scientific staff, research scholars disseminate their creative work through publications for which they generally have unrestricted freedom. Publications constitute only a part of the body of knowledge generated. The SRIHER policy is to encourage transfer and dissemination of knowledge in as complete a form as possible subjected to the following restrictions.

    12.1.1. In the case of publications based on externally sponsored work, permission from sponsoring agency may sometimes be contractually required. The SRIHER agreement with the sponsor usually requires that this permission may not be normally denied except so far as to protect any tangible IP which may be of commercial value or of security interest to the sponsor, and the sponsor will act within a reasonable time to give the permission to publish.

    12.1.2. All publications based on sponsored project shall also acknowledge the sponsor’s support for the work reported in the publications.

    12.1.3. All the contracted obligations have to be adhered to by the Creator(s) / Inventor(s) in the case of IP generated through sponsored work.

    12.2. In case of patentable IP, it is desirable to obtain the patent protection at least in the form of a provisional application before such an IP is either published or exchanged so that both academic and commercial value of the IP is protected. In such instances, the provisional patent application number must be included in the manuscript submitted for publication.

    12.3. In order to protect the commercial value of an IP without affecting the exchange of information, a special confidentiality disclosure agreement (CDA) may be signed between interacting parties before exchanging the information about any IP.

    13.0. Agreements and Contracts

    13.1. Agreement categories and authorized signatories

    All agreement including but not limited to the following categories, are to be approved by SRIHER:

    13.1.1. Confidentiality Disclosure Agreement, Classified Information Non-disclosure (specific) Agreement, only to enable SRIHER to ensure that the Agreement does not render SRIHER liable in any manner for breach of the agreement. Since such agreements often need to be entered into quickly to enable progress in collaboration / interaction, SRIHER through Dean (Research) will respond promptly if the Agreement is entirely between the external party and the employee or student, and SRIHER is not directly or indirectly made liable by the Agreement in any manner.

    13.1.2. Revenue sharing Agreement, Indemnity agreement.

    13.1.3. Evaluation Agreement, Consultation Agreement, Research and Development Agreement (R&D A/MOU)

    13.1.4 Technology Transfer Agreement, License Agreement, IP assignment agreement.

    13.1.5. Alternative Dispute Resolution Agreement.

    Dean (Research) as designated by the Vice Chancellor acts as the final singing authority in all the categories of agreements listed above except confidentiality disclosure agreement which may be signed by the Creator/Inventor with the consent of Dean (Research), SRIHER.

    13.2. Infringements, Damages, Liability and Indemnity Insurance

    13.2.1. In any contract with the licensee, SRIHER shall obtain indemnity from legal proceedings against SRIHER including its employees, without limitation, due to reasons including but not limited to manufacturing defects, production problems, protocol guarantee, upgradation and debugging obligation.

    13.2.2. Generally SRIHER shall obtain, through appropriate agreement, indemnification from the organization to which IP is transferred, against any direct or third party legal liability arising out of commercial exploitation of IP.

    13.2.3. Any medical device developed and distributed by SRIHER either through public domain or commercially, shall have explicit disclaimer against any liability arising out of the use of such medical device by any user.

    13.2.4. Institute shall retain the right to engage in any litigation concerning patents and license infringements.

    13.2. Conflict of Interest

    13.3.1. The Creator(s) / Inventor(s) are required to disclose any conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest. If the Creator(s) / Inventor(s) and/or their immediate family members have a stake in a licensee or potential licensee company then they are required to disclose the stake they and / or their immediate family have in the company.

    13.3.2. A license or an assignment of rights of any IP to a company in which the inventors have a stake shall be subject to the approval of Dean (Research) taking into consideration this fact.

    14.0. Dispute Resolution

    In case of any dispute with regard to IPR policy, the decision of Vice Chancellor, SRIHER shall be deemed final and binding.

    15.0. Jurisdiction

    As a policy, all agreements to be signed by SRIHER will have the jurisdiction of the courts in Chennai and shall be governed by appropriate laws in India, Exceptions to this may be allowed in certain cases by Vice Chancellor, SRIHER on the recommendation of Dean (Research).

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    For Further details

    Professor of Eminence & Dean (Research)

    Central Research Facility, (Dental College Building)

    Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education & Research (Deemed to be University)

    Porur, Chennai – 600 116.

    Phone : 91-44-4592 8665 (D); 24765512 Extn. No. 665/687

    Email: deanresearch @sriramachandra.edu.in

    www.sriramachandra.edu.in