Category Archives: CAS-IP housekeeping

Final post on the CAS-IP blog…. but please join us at CLIPnet!

Since 2008 the CAS-IP blog published some 480 posts, and received as many comments.  But everything has an ending and now it’s time for us to say goodbye… it’s been a great journey!  

As editor I learned a great deal, both personally and professionally.  Special thanks to DGIS who provided support that made this project possible, to Victoria Henson-Apollonio who, as manager of CAS-IP until 2010, supported the work wholeheartedly, and to Peter Bloch who could be relied upon to contribute regularly, and who wrote some of the most popular of our posts!

Where can I continue to read about IP in Ag4Dev?
Visit the latest CGIAR blog on Legal/IP issues CLIPnet,  where we will be covering similar content of interest to the agricultural IP community.

Why is CAS-IP blog closing?
The CGIAR has recently undergone an important reform process designed to improve delivery of its research results.   The former system-wide units including the Central Advisory Service on Intellectual Property (CAS-IP) have now been integrated into the Consortium Office under the supervision of the Consortium Legal Counsel, Ms. Elise Perset.

Will I still be able to access the CAS-IP blog posts?
Yes, for now the blog will remain online as an archive.

Thanks for reading, interacting and sending your post suggestions and comments. See you at

Over and out…. 🙂


Last chance to comment; future scenarios of IP management in the CGIAR

Back in October we blogged the “Results of the Review of CAS-IP and Future Scenarios of IP Management in the CGIAR” and we invited comments.  This was a report published after an evaluation exercise of both our unit and our function. 

The team who conducted the review process said in their report:

“We firmly believe that the management (or mismanagement) of intellectual property will be a primary factor in determining the future of the CGIAR’s contributions to agricultural innovation systems that will help ensure global food security, poverty alleviation and environmental sustainability.”

The consultation part of this process is now coming to a close.  If you wish to comment, please do so before the end of the year.  We would very much like to hear your views on what IP management in the CGIAR should consist of.

Browse the results of the review HERE “Review Site”.  Low bandwidth version available  Have your say and leave a comment.

Some people have written to us directly, preferring not to contribute to an online discussion.  If you wish to submit your comments in this way please email:


Results of the Review of CAS-IP and Future Scenarios of IP Management in the CGIAR

What will intellectual asset management look like in the new CGIAR?

As yet we don’t know.  But we do know that proper IP management is crucial to facilitate the exchange of CGIAR outputs as well as to support trust in collaborations, so it will not be ignored.  To inform the decisions that the new Consortium Office will be taking in the coming months, DGIS commissioned a review of our unit, and requested that it incorporate an in-depth look at IP management in agricultural development as a whole.  The result is one of the most comprehensive documents written on this topic.

But, the job is not done yet.  Although the review incorporates the views of many, we would like to initiate a broader discussion on IP and A4D (agriculture for development).  To this end, we have set up a public consultation process online.  All comments will be compiled and officially added to the report, we hope for use by the agricultural development community at-large.

Browse the results of the review HERE “Review Site” (includes executive summaries in French & Spanish)

Have your say and leave a comment HERE “Public Consultation of the Review”

For a one-page discussion document of the review click HERE “2010 Review of the Central Advisory Service for Intellectual Property (CAS-IP) and Future Scenarios of Intellectual Property Management in the CGIAR”

For those with low-bandwidth connections please click HERE for site map with no graphics.

Postgraduate Course: Biosafety in Plant Biotechnology

biosafety in plant biotechnology course, photo courtesy of Ine Pertry

Guat Hong Teh during her studies for the postgraduate Biosafety course at Ghent University.

Congratulations Guat Hong!!  We received news this week that Guat Hong Teh, Legal Specialist for CAS-IP has passed the Postgraduate Biosafety in Plant Biotechnology course from Ghent University, Belgium with an average of a high distinction.  I’d also like to take the opportunity to thank DGIS whose financial support to CAS-IP allows us to sponsor our staff’s career development.

Guat Hong sent me the following write-up to share her experience.

 “Slightly less than a year ago, I enrolled in a postgraduate course in biosafety with the University of Ghent and UNIDO. Now that I have completed the distance learning course, I would like to share my experience with all of you. The course is run online via an internet tool called Moodle where you are able to access your lecture notes, participate in e-forums with your other classmates and professors, access a library with reading materials, and upload assignments. There are several modules that one has to go through and every one of them has a mandatory exam (either oral/written/both), assignment, and e-discussions. Before finishing off, one needs to write a 25-page dissertation on a crop of interest from one’s home country. For me, oil palm was the obvious target and I managed to put together a summary of the methodology and risk assessment process for genetically-modified high-oleic oil palm. If you are interested to read my dissertation, drop me a note.

Back to further details on the course… The syllabus starts with principles of genetics and applications of biotechnology in general before progressing to the basis of scientific risk assessment for biotech crops (food/feed safety and environmental safety). It then concludes with modules on regulatory requirements and risk communication.

The faculty at Ghent is made up of international experts based in Europe, both full-time and part-time. All in all, I would say that the course provides the student with a good overview and understanding of the risk assessment process for genetically-modified organisms. Although it can be daunting for students without a scientific background to study for the course, this can be overcome with lots of interest and hard work. I would highly recommend it to scientists or lawyers who have an interest in this area. If you’re keen to find out more, or if you’re already convinced to register for the new intake in Ghent, see the attached flyer. Dr. Ine Pertry, who is the course coordinator in Ghent, would be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have on the course. Write to her at

Database of IP Practitioners in emerging and developing economies

As you may already know, CAS-IP facilitates a community of IP practitioners called the National Partners Initiative, the NPI.  Started in May 2007, the community consists of approximately 45 IP/TT practitioners, across many countries and regions, working together in a sustained manner to improve their individual skills and institutional capacities. The result is recognition and confidence that developing country IP professionals can serve the needs of agricultural institutions. This initiative provides a forum for exchange of IP practices, and stimulates the essential on-the-ground capacity and knowledge of Intellectual Property Management, Technology Transfer and IP issues. 

One of early start initiatives of the NPI was to create a database of IP practitioners in each of the NPI countries. The objective was to develop a consolidated resource of all the component parties of IP practice. This would include researchers, legal personnel, tech transfer and technology managers, farmers’ groups and civil organizations involved in innovation cycles.  Examples of contacts on the lists would be persons with expertise in contract drafting and negotiation, experience in application for trademarks in India, experience with Plant Variety Protection in Tanzania, etc. 

On an ongoing basis all members are encouraged to prepare and continually update this list.  The exercise has proved very useful, not only as a shared resource but also to those who have now taken the time to compile the list for their own country. 

photo by Shawn Landersz for CAS-IP
Dr Kalpana Sastry (NAARM) & Dr. Marilyn M. Belarmino (AVRDC) at NPI Annual Meeting, Washington D.C., June 2010

 The experience of one of the NPI partners, Dr Kalpana Sastry of NAARM, India indicates the utility of this tool in her office. Since its creation in 2007 she has used this ready reckoner database of practitioners of IP and technology management to:

  1.  identify relevant faculty and clientele for awareness programmes
  2. identify the specific areas for capacity building programmes
  3. engage the faculty in IP education programmes
  4. identify summer internship locations for students
  5. locate probable employers for graduating students
  6. collaborate in research proposals

The members of the NPI have unique networks of IP practitioners in developing or emerging economies.  The lists so far compiled are available for use by all the NPI members on our shared space.  Possible extended users of the data could include organisations seeking to commercialise an agricultural product in one of the participating countries, or donors/project managers seeking partners for advocacy to explore the use of IP tools such as trademarks, market segmentation, branding, as a means of creating more value for producers, especially small holder farmers and those that farm marginal areas.  For privacy reasons we cannot share the lists with external parties, however, we could arrange for information to be disseminated on a case-by-case basis.   

(Co-written by Kalpana Sastry, NAARM)    

“Highlights of CAS-IP” by Victoria Henson-Apollonio

Victoria wants to know if you are curious as to what she’s been up to for the past 10.5 years.  If so, take a look at her final seminar before she stepped down as the Manager of CAS-IP.  Warning:  It’s an hour in length!  You’ll need the following password to view the video clip.  “casip10yrs

 “Highlights of CAS-IP” by Victoria Henson-Apollonio

Password: casip10yrs

Exciting newsflash from CAS-IP!!!

We are delighted to announce that the new Manager of CAS-IP is Ms. Elise Perset.  Elise will have this role for one year. 

Ms. Perset comes to the CGIAR System from CIRAD where she has been since 2004.  Ms. Perset is currently CIRAD’s Legal Counsel for Contracts and Intellectual Property.  (CIRAD is the French Agricultural Research Center for International Development, whose mandate is to conduct research and development in the life and earth sciences, social sciences, and engineering sciences applied to agriculture, food and rural territories, in support developing countries, with a staff of 1800, including 800 researchers, an annual budget of >200 M € and operations in >100 countries.)

Elise has experience working in commercial law and she is a member of the New York Bar (U.S.) and the Paris Bar (Fr.), which means that Ms. Perset is a practitioner of both common law and civil law, a great expertise for the CGIAR, where we have a need for experience in both types of legal systems.

Ms. Perset has worked in the areas of technology transfer, partnership support, IP and genetic resources policy development, support to business development teams, and genetic resources.  With other CIRAD staff, she has developed tools in the area of IP and genetic resources (GENE-PI), which was further developed by FAO under the name GENE-IT for use in implementation of the multilateral system (MLS).

In addition to her duties at CIRAD, Elise is currently a lecturer in IP and Contract law at the Law School of the University of Montpellier, France.

Elise will start with the CGIAR System on the 6th of September.

We are so very pleased that we have such a skilled and experienced individual to lead the CAS-IP team and Office during the next year!