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US & UK researchers meet to consider how to protect new science without excluding developing world

The University of Warwick and Boston University are joining together to hold a gathering of US and UK researchers, science based businesses, and related organizations. This event will explore how to create legal means of protecting new science and innovations without the costs of the products and licenses shutting out the developing world.

Details of the conference may be found at Boston University and the University of Warwick are also encouraging the participation of students, and details of a limited number of travel scholarships are available at that web site.

The conference will look at a variety of voluntary licensing mechanisms, in which innovators voluntarily give up their legitimate patent monopolies to allow innovation to reach the developing world affordably. Such mechanisms are an alternative approach to the compulsory licensing mechanisms provided for in international intellectual property treaties such as TRIPS that have proven to be both confrontational and cumbersome to invoke.

Professor Nigel Thrift, Vice Chancellor of the University of Warwick, said: “President Brown and I and are delighted to be able to bring together leading researchers and key businesses to examine this issue. We have an opportunity to work together to make a significant contribution to achieving social equity in the dissemination of innovation.”

Robert Brown, President of Boston University said: “The private sector has developed a number of highly innovative mechanisms to facilitate the transfer of innovation to emerging economies over the past decade which we term “Voluntary Licensing”. The purpose of this conference is to comprehensively review these mechanisms and to look at their application in healthcare, food and agriculture and cleantech.”

The conference entitled Socially Responsible Licensing: Using Voluntary Licensing to Achieve Social Equity, will take place on November 19 and 20, 2011 at the University of Warwick and will include speakers from:

  • Aspen Pharmacare Holdings, Ltd.
  • BIO Ventures for Global Health
  • Boston University
  • DNDi
  • Gilead Sciences Inc.
  • GlaxoSmithKline, PLC
  • Medicines Patent Pool
  • Merck & Co. Inc.
  • Sterne, Kessler & Fox
  • University of Costa Rica
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Warwick
  • Warwick Ventures
  • World Intellectual Property Organization

For additional information please contact:

Mark Barnett at

Ashley Stevens at

Peter Dunn, Head of Communications
Communications Office, University House,
University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 8UW, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)24 76 523708 Mobile/Cell: +44 (0)7767 655860

PR115 PJD 8th August 2011