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CIFRA Report Summary

Project ID: 731940
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.1.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CIFRA (Challenging the ICT Patent Framework for Responsible Innovation)

Reporting period: 2016-11-01 to 2017-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The general objective of this project has been to identify and thoroughly characterize issues in the current patent system and to propose potential corrective measures to promote it to a more effective and efficient tool for collaborative innovation and real technical and social development.
Some of the aspects investigated in the project have been:
• Fulfilment of the principles of responsible research and innovation.
• Under-utilization of technology, depriving the society from its benefits. (e.g. because of excessive litigation or exclusivity period too long)
• Universality of the patent system (e.g. accessibility for small players such as SMEs or individual inventors)
• Efficiency of the patent system for collaborative innovation and social development, as well as tools to increase this facet (e.g. leveraging non-assertion covenants, extrapolation of open source principles to utility inventions)
• Minimization of market disruption (e.g. by non-practising entities)

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The methodology and process to fulfil these objectives has been the following.
In a first instance, the current standpoint has been characterized, both by analysing the existing literature and by a thorough analysis of patents data and indicators. Next, the ethical aspects of patents in ICT sector, and thus the current fulfilment of the responsible research and innovation was addressed.
The previous activities allowed to have a thorough characterization of the issues and challenges the ICT patent ecosystem is facing, and to what extent they have an impact in societal welfare, as well as to draft a list of potential measures that could solve or minimize those problems, and thus could increase societal welfare.
The following step in the project has been to check the opinion of a broad set of experts belonging to the whole ICT value chain and ecosystem, both on the severity of the problems and the prospects of the solutions. This task encompassed a set of interviews with key stakeholders followed by a subsequent survey to an even broader set of experts in the ICT ecosystem. From this valuable information, the consortium was able to elaborate a brief description of the set of challenges perceived more relevant by the different stakeholders, as well as an evaluation of the acceptance of the different proposals, and as a result, a set of recommendations captured in CIFRA project’s policy paper.
The final phase of the project has been dedicated to disseminating the results of CIFRA project analysis and recommendations. The most relevant activity was to organize a Stakeholders’ Conference on October 30th 2017 in Telefónica campus in Madrid. The event has been considered a great success of the project in different ways. Firstly, it gathered a set of top class speakers from different European countries, USA and China, working for key companies and organizations in terms of Intellectual Property management. Moreover, the event had a large, varied and very specialized attendance. But more important, the results of the project were very positively welcome by the attendees. Although the focus of the project is the ICT patent ecosystem, the consortium has leveraged the methodology used for ICT, to expand the analysis to other sectors (Health, Energy).
Additional dissemination has been pursued by means of publication in well-recognized journals. The most relevant result has been the publication of an adapted version of our policy paper in IAM blog. Other publication options that have been attepted have a longer revision cycle and will just succeed some time after the end of the project.
The feedback received during the dissemination phase has been used to produce a refined version of the CIFRA project’s policy paper.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

This project aimed at identifying the most relevant issues in the ICT ecosystem and potential measures to mitigate them has been unique in the sense that it is the only such exercise that has combined a thorough literature review, an empirical data analysis and a broad consultation to experts, all of this conducted with utmost impartiality.
The results and recommendations of the project have been made available to interested stakeholders, regulators and patent offices for consideration when defining their future strategies. Therefore, it is expected that the project helps the ICT patent ecosystem evolve to a more sensible scheme that takes the societal implications into account.

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