This has been sitting on my desk for a while. One of the reasons I waited before blogging it was I wanted to see what others in the online community were going to make of the news.
Many of you will remember the saga of the Plumpy’nut patent. The web was literally buzzing during 2010 with news about the Plumpy’nut patent. The high profile articles included the Andrew Rice article in the New York Times, and Jeffrey Sachs in the Huffington Post. For previous CAS-IP posts on the subject visit: https://casipblog.wordpress.com/?s=plumpy
So the update is this; in October Nutriset announced that a “Patent Usage Agreement” is now available online for the Plumpy’nut patent. What does this mean? Well, providing some basic requirements are met, anyone can download a Patent User Agreement to produce and distribute the product.
“It allows a company or an organization to manufacture, market and distribute products covered by Nutriset/IRD patents. Eligible entities wishing to do so, can subscribe simply and quickly, in just a few clicks online, a Patents Usage Agreement”
I downloaded a copy of the agreement which can be viewed here. https://casipblog.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/patent-user-agreement-plumpynut.pdf
The requirements for eligibility are pretty basic. You need to be a legal entity based in one of the developing countries where the patent has been filed (of course where there is no patent filed no licence is required anyway). There is no compulsory fee to be paid, although IRD do “invite” a 1% of sales turnover be contributed towards research work.
What has the online community said about this announcement? Not a lot from the searches I did, and from my RSS feeds…. Which is a shame as it certainly seems that Nutriset are trying to honor their commitment to make this product accessible and available – and there was a lot of negative media attention earlier in the year to the contrary.
From the CAS-IP perspective it’s an interesting turn in the story. In my first post on this topic I wrote:
“…the argument that underpins this, and many other similar stories [is that] IP relating to a product with a humanitarian nature should somehow be “handled differently””
And indeed the “Online Patent User Agreement” is handling things differently. I will be sure to blog any updates on this.