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Roles and Perspectives in Science
Collaboration – the view of the hightech industry
Dr. Peter Kurz
Agilent Technologies
International Sàrl
Morges
25 April 2005
November 1, 1999
WIPO Conference on Dispute Resolution in International
Science and Technology Cooperation Geneva 25 26 April
Page 2
Agilent Revenue – FY04
Test and
Measurement
Semiconductor
Products
Automated
Test
Life Sciences
and
Chemical Analysis
$2.9B
$2.0B
$0.9B
$1.3B
Agilent Laboratories
WIPO Conference on Dispute Resolution in International
Science and Technology Cooperation Geneva 25 26 April
Page 3
Agilent’s university collaborations
Basic observations & shifts in direction
 More basic research and less applied research @
universities, due to internal shifts in Agilent.
Sometimes of philanthropic nature (e.g., funding a
professorship).
 Not much contract research (of the type „Run this
project for us“), rather funding of research
conducted at the university, provided Agilent has
an interest in the results. Exception: projects
where only the university has expertise
 Some research funded by EU or local
governments
 Acquisition of university spin-offs or university IP
WIPO Conference on Dispute Resolution in International
Science and Technology Cooperation Geneva 25 26 April
Page 4
Agilent’s university collaborations
Recent Issues

Universitites under too much pressure to
commercialize & do not understand a) the investments
required for product development, b) the limits of IP
protection and c) the basis of profit calculation. E.g., a
20% royalty on a lab-status technology is usually not an
option, unless there are special leverages.
Examples:
•
Equity investment in spin-off failed because there were
only 3 recently filed patent applications and one of the
professors held unspecified rights in them
•
Expected royalty rate was so excessive that Agilent
decided not to fund a project, but rather hire a scientist
from the university. Now, government money could not
be assigned
WIPO Conference on Dispute Resolution in International
Science and Technology Cooperation Geneva 25 26 April
Page 5
Agilent’s university collaborations
Conflicts
 In our experience, conflicts arise rather during the
negotiation of the contract, than during execution.
 There is one essential bottleneck that has a name:
University Legal Departments. (Slow in response,
no power to compromise, ...)
One particular issue with the revision of § 42
Inventor Code in Germany: the professor is no
longer the owner of his/her inventions.
=> 3 or 4 parties to agree (funding company,
university, professor, student if any). Agilent has
split up the agreements into 3 for that purpose.
WIPO Conference on Dispute Resolution in International
Science and Technology Cooperation Geneva 25 26 April
Page 6
WIPO Conference on Dispute Resolution in International
Science and Technology Cooperation Geneva 25 26 April
Page 7
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