World Intellectual Property Organization

Transfer of technology

The dissemination and transfer of technology is a major pillar that supports the raison d’être of the patent system. By granting exclusive rights, the patent system aims to improve the efficient flow of knowledge and to facilitate transactions in protected technology. It sets up a legal framework that allows technology holders to disclose their inventions to the public and license or sell their patents, without fear of free-riding. A wider group of researchers and engineers who access the disclosed knowledge may, in turn, further contribute to the development of the technology concerned. The possibility of defining ownership and a clear boundary of rights facilitates the transfer of technology protected by patents.

While the process of transferring technology is complex and influenced by a number of factors, such as political and market environments, human resources and infrastructure, policy makers also adjust various mechanisms built into the patent system to provide a framework that supports transfer of technology at the national and international level. Given the centrality of innovation to technological, social and economic development of countries, the generation, transfer and diffusion of innovative technology at both national and international levels has been widely recognized as a major element to be taken into account in designing development policies. In that context, the role of the patent system and its effects on technology transfer are under continuous discussions in the SCP.

SCP Working documents on the topic

  • Report on the International Patent System (SCP/12/3 Rev.2)
  • Transfer of Technology (SCP/14/4 Rev 2.)
  • WIPO's Activities on Transfer of Technology (SCP/18/7)
  • Patents and Transfer of Technology: Examples and Experiences (SCP/18/8)
  • Patents and Transfer of Technology: Further Practical Examples and Experiences (SCP/20/10)

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