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UAEM - Licensing and patenting practices of UK research institutions 2019-2020

Sarai Keestra made this Freedom of Information request to University of Liverpool

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Dear University of Liverpool,

We have previously sent FOI requests asking for information about the licensing practices of UK universities. This was concerning the time period 18th October 2018 to 18th October 2019. We are now looking to update the information for the following year, 19th October 2019 to 19th October 2020.
The updated request is listed below:

For the purpose of clarity, please adhere to the following definitions when answering these questions:
Definitions

Low and middle income country: A country that is defined as ‘low’, ‘lower-middle’ and ‘upper-middle’ income by the World Bank for the year 2018. Income status defined by GNI per capita.
Source: World bank, available online [https://tinyurl.com/y5dwc2qv]

A patent grants an inventor the exclusive rights to his or her invention. A patent holder can stop other people from selling, manufacturing, producing, or using the invention for a certain period of time.
Source: Upcouncil, available online [https://www.upcounsel.com/what-is-a-pate...

Licence: Permission for the licensee to use the intellectual property rights
Source: TaylorWessing, available online [https://www.taylorwessing.com/download/a...

Exclusive Licence: A licence that allows only the named licensee to exploit the relevant IP rights, the licensor is also excluded from exploiting these IP rights.

Non-Exclusive Licence: A licence that grants any number of licensees to exploit the IP.
Source: TaylorWessing, available online [https://www.taylorwessing.com/synapse/co...

Health Technology: ‘Health technology as defined by the WHO: “A health technology is the application of organized knowledge and skills in the form of devices, medicines, vaccines, procedures and systems developed to solve a health problem and improve quality of lives.’
Source: WHO, available online [https://www.who.int/health-technology-as...

START FOI request:

Q1. Has the university committed to licensing its medical discoveries in ways that promote access and affordability in Low- and Middle- Income Countries? If yes, please provide a link or PDF to the relevant policy document.

Q2. Please provide an Excel spreadsheet with headings as displayed below with all the health technologies LICENSED by the university in the period 19th October 2019 to 19th October 2020 AND specify which countries they were licensed in AND specify whether they are exclusive or non-exclusive licenses.
Health Technology Licensed | Country of Licensing | Type of License (Exclusive or Non-Exclusive)

Q3. Please provide a list of patents granted to your organization in the period 19th October 2019 to 19th October 2020, listed by patent family, indicating countries/regions in which the patent has been granted.

Q4. In the period 19th October 2019 to 19th October 2020, has the university shared its best practices for promoting access to medicines through non-exclusive licensing by carrying out any of the following activities?

❏ Contributed sample clauses to the AUTM Global Health Toolkit
❏ Published an article, guidance, or other literature on access licensing practices
❏ Formally presented on access licensing practices at an academic or professional event, or at another university
❏ Informally shared or discussed access licensing practices with administrators at other universities
❏ Other
❏ None
(Tick as appropriate)

Q5. What actions has the technology transfer office (TTO) undertaken in the period 19th October 2019 to 19th October 2020 to improve access to the technologies they license in low-and middle-income settings?
END FOI request.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me by email.

Yours faithfully,

Sarai Keestra

foi Uof Liverpool, University of Liverpool

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Keestra

This is to acknowledge receipt of your request for information from
the University of Liverpool.   Your reference number is FOI/2020/490. We
will review and process your request as soon as possible.

In line with recent recommendations, many of our staff are now working
from home and we ask that you bear with us through this period. We may
take a little longer than normal to respond to certain enquiries and staff
may not have access to information requested.

We will aim to respond within 20 working days of the day we received the
request.  You will hear back from us by 7 December at the latest.

If for any reason we are unable to meet this deadline, we will keep you
fully informed of the reasons for this as soon as practical.

If you have any queries about this email or your request or if at any
stage you are unhappy with the way in which your request is being handled
please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Yours sincerely

 

Kirsty Rothwell
Freedom of Information Officer / Data Protection Co-ordinator
Legal & Governance

University of Liverpool, Foundation Building, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool L69
7ZX

 

The information in this email and any attachments is confidential. Unless
you are the intended recipient, you must not read, copy, distribute, use
or retain this message or any part of it. If you are not the intended
recipient, please notify the sender immediately.

 

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foi Uof Liverpool, University of Liverpool

2 Attachments

FOI/2020/490

18 December 2020

 

Name:  Sarai Keestra

By email to: [1][FOI #704215 email]

 

Dear Ms Keestra,

 

Thank you for your email of 6 November requesting information from the
University of Liverpool.  With apologies for the delay, colleagues have
provided a response to your request below and attached.

 

Has the university committed to licensing its medical discoveries in ways
that promote access and affordability in Low- and Middle- Income
Countries? If yes, please provide a link or PDF to the relevant policy
document.

Where possible the University will work to ensure its technologies are
available in LMIC however the University has not developed a formal policy
to cover this. Each project is considered on a case-by case basis.

 

Please provide an Excel spreadsheet with headings as displayed below with
all the health technologies LICENSED by the university in the period 19th
October 2019 to 19th October 2020 AND specify which countries they were
licensed in AND specify whether they are exclusive or non-exclusive
licenses.

 

Health Technology Licensed | Country of Licensing | Type of License
(Exclusive or Non-Exclusive)

Although the University holds the information you requested, it will not
supply it to you because this information is exempt under Section 41(b) of
the Freedom of Information Act. Section 41(b) states that information is
exempt from disclosure if the information to the public (otherwise than
under this Act) by the public authority holding it would constitute a
breach of confidence actionable by that or any other person.

 

Licences are a private contractual matter between the University and the
licensee and will contain obligations of confidentiality between the
parties. Therefore, to disclose the existence of the licence and the name
of a licensee could place the University in contractual breach.  As
Section 41 is an absolute exemption, so there is no public interest test
to be applied. This acts as our refusal notice.

 

Please provide a list of patents granted to your organization in the
period 19th October 2019 to 19th October 2020, listed by patent family,
indicating countries/regions in which the patent has been granted.

Please see attached.

 

In the period 19th October 2019 to 19th October 2020, has the university
shared its best practices for promoting access to medicines through
non-exclusive licensing by carrying out any of the following activities?

 

i. Contributed sample clauses to the AUTM Global Health Toolkit No
ii. Published an article, guidance, or other literature on access
licensing practices No
iii. Formally presented on access licensing practices at an academic or
professional event, or at another university Yes
iv. Informally shared or discussed access licensing practices with
administrators at other universities Yes

 

What actions has the technology transfer office (TTO) undertaken in the
period 19th October 2019 to 19th October 2020 to improve access to the
technologies they license in low-and middle-income settings?

The University actively works with charities and local partners in low-
and middle-income countries to enable products to be developed for little
or no commercial return. The University does not adopt a blanket policy or
approach to licensing in LMIC as each project is evaluated on a
case-by-case basis. An example of this is that the University of Liverpool
was awarded more than £24.5 million ($32m) in funding from Unitaid as part
of a £30.5 million ($40m) global research consortium project led by
Liverpool academics to develop new medicines for low- and middle-income
countries.

 

Another example is the Universities ongoing collaboration with the
Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and a licence for the university’s Solid Drug
Nanoparticle (SDN) technology to accelerate the development of
WHO-recommended antiretrovirals as nanomedicines. The agreement covers a
territory of all 135 low- and middle-income countries and two high-income
countries in Africa, where licensees based anywhere in the world will have
the right to make, use and distribute lower cost ARVs based on SDN
technology.

 

If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request for
information, you have a right under Section 50 of the Freedom of
Information Act to ask the University to review it; however, you must do
so within 40 working days of the date of this response. Your request
should include our reference number and explain the reason for requesting
a review. Email [2][University of Liverpool request email] or write to the Freedom of
Information Reviewer, Legal & Compliance, University of Liverpool,
Foundation Building, 765 Brownlow Hill, Liverpool L69 7ZX.  We will
respond to your request for an internal review within 20 working days of
receipt.

 

Following an internal review, if you remain dissatisfied with the handling
of your request, you have a right to appeal to the Information
Commissioner at The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF. Telephone:  0303 123 1113
[3]www.ico.org.uk.

 

There is no charge for making an appeal.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Kirsty Rothwell
Freedom of Information Officer  / Data Protection Co-ordinator
Legal & Governance

University of Liverpool, Foundation Building, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool L69
7ZX

 

The information in this email and any attachments is confidential. Unless
you are the intended recipient, you must not read, copy, distribute, use
or retain this message or any part of it. If you are not the intended
recipient, please notify the sender immediately.

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Sarai Keestra please sign in and let everyone know.