Generation IV alliance avoids ownership issues

9 March 2005

The framework agreement for the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) recent signed by the 11 industrialised nations including Canada, the EU, France, Japan, the UK and the USA has raised concerns that technology ownership issues have not been addressed.

The GIF deal lays the groundwork for developing six reactor designs, but it leaves open the crucial issue of who will own jointly developed technology. While broad language relating to protection of intellectual property was included, specific funding and ownership issues have been delegated to the second-tier agreements, which are still being formed. Drafts for these second-tier agreement are expected to begin in earnest in a few months but it is generally understood that shares will be based on funds contributed.

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