Approach to Intellectual property

The Alliance and NZ-specific objectives which underpin the RMG Network focus on agricultural greenhouse gas mitigation research and are a combination and reprioritisation of objectives from the Alliance Charter[1] and the NZAGRC Strategic, Science and Business Plans[2]. Broadly speaking the aspirations and global benefits underpinning the RMG Network is the support of public-good science through the sharing of knowledge and data amongst scientists around the world. It is anticipated that all data made available through the RMG Network and supporting projects will be used in a manner that is consistent with the aims, purpose and aspirations of the Network and will be open access for public usage. For example, with regards to community resource projects, such as the Hungate 1000, a condition of strain provision is the immediate provision of sequence data for public access. Network members will be directed to these data as a resource for interrogation and collaboration with research groups that submitted the strain to be sequenced, co-ordinated the community resource project, and performed the genome sequencing and annotation. However one of the obligations for members is that all work/data used by a third party should be properly referenced and sourced (see RMG Network Publication and Presentation Policies section of RMG Network Structure document).  The RMG Network also aims to facilitate access to publicly-available datasets that may be available elsewhere through weblinks to, for example, IMG or IMG/M. 

Under the broad auspices of outlined in the Nagoya Protocol[3] there should be fair and equal benefit sharing with countries providing genetic resources. However, the exact mechanism by which this occurs should be discussed and agreed upon by the collaborating parties in question independently of the RMG Network and may largely be dictated by their own individual or institute guidelines regarding provision of material, but should be aligned with the public-good aims, purpose and aspirations of the RMG Network. The default IP position that should form the basis of subsequent negotiations should be that individual organisations will ultimately retain sovereignty on provision, use of and publication stemming from material. Network members are expected to endeavour to manage Intellectual Property (IP) which may arise from individual projects in a manner that achieves the public good aims of the RMG Network and the respective requirements of the parties participating in those projects and their funders.  Network members will recognise that the purpose of the Network, to reduce the emissions intensity of methane from enteric fermentation in livestock systems, may be best achieved by either publishing the outcomes of Network-related research, or by IP protection, or both, depending on the particular research outcomes achieved.

In general, commercial and collaborative dealings between Network members will be expected to be confidential as between those parties, but each party should ensure that its own position is adequately protected before releasing confidential or valuable information.  Furthermore, Network members will be expected to respect the underlying IP rights of other members and third parties when undertaking RMG Network-related projects.  It is not expected that the RMG Network website will be a repository for IP-protected data, and members are encouraged to only submit information to the website, including the member-only section, which is either publicly available or which is suitable for public release.  The RMG Network will take no responsibility for any IP or confidentiality breach by any of its members or arising from using of its website.

 [1] http://www.globalresearchalliance.org/community/Alliance%20Charter/

 [2] http://www.nzagrc.org.nz/

 [3] http://www.cbd.int/abs/

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