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News Posted on July 21, 2017

King Hall Hosts Successful Licensing Academy in Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer

Lawyers, technology transfer officers, scientists and entrepreneurs from all over the world travelled to King Hall to explore U.S. models of intellectual asset management and technology licensing during the seventh annual Licensing Academy in Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer held June 19-30 at UC Davis School of Law.

Licensing Academy Students

The program was offered jointly by UC Davis School of Law International Programs and UC Davis Public Intellectual Property Resource for Agriculture (PIPRA). Speakers included UC Davis professors as well as intellectual property managers and technology transfer officers from Venture Catalyst and other campus entrepreneurship programs, as well as world-class lawyers and entrepreneurs from organizations including international law firms and Bay Area start-up companies. Funding was provided by organizations including the Organization of American States (OAS), Corporación de Fomento de la Producción de Chile (CORFO), and international companies and law firms. 

This year's program included 33 participants from 13 countries in North and South America, the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, and Asia. Countries represented for the first time this year included Poland and France. The program, now in its seventh year, has hosted 249 total participants from 49 countries.

Licensing Academy StudentsAcademy participant Celso Freitas is a legal manager for an agribusiness company in Brazil and a student in the summer International Commercial Law LL.M. at UC Davis School of Law. “What surprised me in a very good way is that it was not only a law course,” Celso commented. “It was not a class consisting of lawyers [only]. It was a very rich experience for me to be in touch with people who work in other areas of IP. Patent law in Brazil is a narrow area, but don’t think this course is only for lawyers working in this area. The course is very, very useful for professionals who deal with contracts.”

“At my organization,” said Muthoni Mucheru, a legal officer at the International Livestock Research Institute in Nairobi, Kenya, “we need to learn how to manage IP better. We are usually in the position of licensor. This detailed program helped me to better understand the position of our licensees out there and how to engage them while ensuring my organization is not being short-changed.” Mucheru has been negoiating a particular licensing arrangement for six months now, and says “it’s at a bit of a stalemate. From what I’ve learned here, I will be able to better engage the lawyer on the other side on how we can find some form of middle ground.”

Karina Najarro works as a lawyer in Lima, Peru at the International Potato Center, a research CGIAR Research Center. Her favorite part of the program was the two-day license agreement workshop taught by University of California Office of the President IP Research Policy Manager Randi Jenkins ’02. “[The license agreement workshop] was amazing!” Najarro enthused. “I was expecting to learn a lot, but I didn’t expect to have this workshop. It was very detailed with points that are not covered in a general training.”

“In the eight years since I finished my education,” said Rodrigo Sara, a senior Legal Officer with the CGIAR System Organization based in Montpellier, France, “this training probably has been the most valuable thing that I have been able to do from an external provider in terms of increasing my awareness of not just the agricultural context, but IP and innovation in multiple industries. This course has effectively brought together a wide variety of industries in which the IP issues and the licensing issues are all quite comparable.”

Beth Greenwood, Associate Dean of International Law Programs, notes that "The School of Law deeply values our partnership with PIPRA. In this time of tremendous growth in the importance of intellectual property law issues around the world, the Licensing Academy truly leads at the forefront of creative thinking around these concerns.”

For more information about the Licensing Academy and other International Programs at the School of Law, please visit law.ucdavis.edu/international or contact Kate Asche internationallaw@ucdavis.edu or 530-757-8569.