Latin America is a laggard in technology patents, an area lead by Asian countries. Meanwhile, 52% of patents came from Asia, with China leading the pole position, Latin America only accounts for 1.7% of the global technology patents, according to the WIPO report in 2019. A Colombian startup is looking to change that situation.
LicenciArte is a startup founded by Colombian David Hurtado to wholesale patents with transnational companies such as Sanofi, Decathlon, Merck, and similar ones. Hurtado wants to create the first and largest patent consortium in Latin America.
What is a patent pool?
According to Hurtado, patent pools, or ‘patent pools’, “are voluntary agreements between two or more patent holders to license large amounts of patents to third parties”.
Although this strategy has been used for more than 2 decades in technology companies, during the pandemic it has gained greater strength and relevance in the most prestigious US universities and vaccine pharmaceutical companies.
“If Latin America wants to compete in this technology transfer market, we must come together and with a varied and strengthened portfolio of patents,” he added.
For Hurtado, “the patent system was created to encourage inventors to disclose their inventions to expand the frontiers of knowledge of humanity and not keep technological solutions secret and take them to the grave.”
However, he believes that the strategy that the countries of the region are using to transfer knowledge or technology is not adequate, so it is necessary to create solutions that transform this process and change the course of the history of patents that are born in Colombia. and Latin America.
Hurtado affirms that his team has identified a small but very brilliant mass of innovative scientists in Latin America who have all the capabilities to generate disruptive proofs of concepts at a global level to give greater well-being to world society. They just don’t know how to negotiate them with first-world companies that can turn them into tangible products or services, nor do they have the financing or technological capacity to verify their usefulness, nor the network of contacts to reach them ”, adds Hurtado.
Researchers don’t know how to negotiate a patent
In a survey carried out by LicenciArte to 120 researchers from all over Latin America, more than 30% said that they would not know how to negotiate a patent in the international market. Furthermore, 25% would have no idea what price to put on their innovation or technology abroad.
According to Hurtado, North American universities have contributed to the discovery of more than 200 drugs and vaccines, about 14 thousand science-based startups (drugs, medical devices, advanced computing, among others), and 5.9 million jobs, among other indicators. . So why not do it in Latin American institutions? ” said Hurtado.
Thus, this Colombian, with his ‘startup’ LicenciArte, seeks to validate and commercialize Latin patents.
So far, in the beta version of his venture, he has validated more than 100 innovations or technologies and promises to find commercial opportunities for scientific discoveries, in an over-accelerated process through the use of emerging technologies and collective knowledge with his network of allies. worldwide, ensuring an exponential reduction in costs and significant time.
By 2022, it plans to transfer more than 30 patent families from different corners of Latin America and launch itself as the main key player in the region in this licensing market, which is currently valued at $ 180 billion, but which, according to IBM estimates, it will hit $ 1 trillion in the near future.