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Social Innovation and University Intellectual Property: Insights from the UK and Mexico

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Document pages: 33 pages

Abstract: University intellectual property (IP) policies, and the accompanying strategies for incubation of IP via licensing and spin-outs, have not received much analysis from academic lawyers. Moreover, despite several successful examples of universities in the UK generating income from IP, not much is known about how transferable the UK model is when considered in the light of a middle-income developing economy such as Mexico. In this article we analyse critically some of the key tenets of IP policies at universities in the UK to identify what the key legal principles underpinning university innovation and commercialization are. We consider the potential application of these principles in Mexico, where so far only a limited number of universities have developed IP policies and strategies in line with the incubator model. We explain how universities in Mexico could implement these research findings in their own IP policies. We contend that the mere provision of an IP policy is not a panacea — on its own it is insufficient for ensuring technology transfer and it may even encourage unnecessary patenting. Further investment in infrastructure and in establishing a culture of incubation and entrepreneurship is essential.

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