• Apart from the fact that they can be misleading, ownership rules alone cannot solve the various legal and ethical challenges of an equitable distribution of benefits among all stakeholders in the context of complex transnational research cooperation. More detailed contractual arrangements, scrupulously in accordance with existing law and clearly defining the rights and obligations of the parties, are necessary to achieve the objective of a fair distribution of benefits. Accordingly, we propose that the ownership rule in the MTA SA may do more harm than good and that it should be removed from SAMTA. As proposed in our next discussion on benefit distribution, best practice guidelines for benefit distribution in South Africa should be developed in consultation with all stakeholders. Such guidelines may offer other ways of symbolically recognizing the importance of human biological materials in some South African cultures and offer detailed options for achieving an equitable distribution of benefits that are consistent with existing legislation. For simple transfers without intellectual property, the NIH recommends a simple matching agreement. For materials that can be patented or for which increased protection is desired, the Uniform Biological Material Transfer Agreement (UBMTA) can be used. Many U.S. educational institutions have signed the UBMTA Masteragrement.

    [2] AUTM (formerly the Association of University Technology Managers) serves as a repository for UBMTA`s original master`s contracts and keeps the list of signatories. [3] UBMTA signatories must only sign a letter of execution containing the details of each transfer, since they have already agreed to all the terms of the master contract. When the examiner and university administrators are informed of the risk that any invention resulting from research involving this material may be the property of the equipment supplier or licensed (without a licence) and agree, in the present circumstances, to retain the materials despite the risk, the university may accept conditions relating to the ownership or interests of the intellectual property resulting from the use of the material. which would normally be unacceptable. Claims (concluding) the section of the patent that defines an invention (the technology that is the exclusive property of the patent holder for the duration of the patent) and which is legally enforceable; In other words, claims set the limits and limits of patent rights. The patent document must conclude with a claim that clearly indicates and claims the purpose that the applicant considers to be an invention or discovery. The claim or claims are interpreted as indicated in the specifications: the terms and formulations used in the claims must be sufficiently described in the specifications, i.e. the claims must be read in the light of the specifications. The specification reveals and the claims define the invention. In the following paragraphs, we familiarize the reader with the legal environment related to the use of human biological material for research in South Africa and with the SA MTA`s legis report.

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