Preserved plant genetic resources (hereafter referred to as “materials”) are made available by the Africa Rice Center (WARDA) under the following conditions: Most hardware and data providers need agreement to ensure a common understanding of the use of materials or data and to set restrictions on their use. However, both parties to the exchange will benefit from the agreement. Since MTAs are contractual agreements between two or more parties, agreements generally do not have the spatial or temporal limits of patented technologies (patents are territorial, issued by countries, with limited conditions, usually 20 years from filing) and can therefore go well beyond the scope of patent rights. It is interesting to note that an assessment of property rights related to “GoldenRice” showed that 44 patented products or processes and at least 15 materials, many of which have been regulated by MTAs, have potentially been used in their development.5 When navigating the intellectual and technical property landscape around “GoldenRice,” Potrykus said that MTA restrictions were particularly problematic.6 Types of material requests may contain biological materials such as reagents. , cell lines, plasmids and vectors (including DNA, live animals and clinical samples), chemical compounds, databases and software codes. Types of data requests may include data from research on human subjects or information protected by HIPAA. An MTA may contain a part or appendix attached at the end of the agreement. In many cases, the installation is a detailed description of the research, a protocol or a long list of materials. Sometimes confidential information is inserted into the exhibits or annexes, so that it can be edited more easily than if it were included in the agreement.
Overcoming Barriers to The Transfer of Published Research Materials The barriers that MTAs can pose to facilitate the flow of published research materials among non-profit organizations have long been recognized. As the NIH has pointed out, each iteration in a negotiation on the terms of MTA delays the timing of a research tool being used in the laboratory.