Intellectual property conflict: An exploration of sustainable conflict resolution models in higher academic institutions, the case of Makerere University.
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The study reported in this dissertation, examined the extent, to which conflicts arising out of intellectual property are resolved within institutions of higher learning. This research study therefore, sought to investigate the current conflicts arising out of intellectual property at various schools and colleges of Makerere University and the available methods of solving such conflicts at school and college level. Specifically the study aimed at exploring various conflict resolution models of handling academic conflicts that arise from ownership of intellectual property within the setting of institutions of higher learning Using paper- based questionnaires; data was collected from Principal investigators, postdoc fellows and PhD students at Makerere University. In total 44 Principal Investigators, 8 Postdoctoral fellows and 35 PhD students took part in this study. The findings revealed that the non-existence of established avenues for solving academic conflicts in their respective colleges impacted on the perception of principal investigators, in much the same way as they did to the postdoctoral fellows and PhD students, limiting resolution of ownership of intellectual property merely to the traditional courts of law methods. In addition, while some respondents who participated in this study reported that there were established avenues for solving academic conflicts relating to ownership of intellectual property; such attempts were being constrained mainly due to lack of institutionalized systemic methods of resolving such conflicts. Consequently, a lot more support inform of establishing a well streamlined and systematic approach within all schools and colleges in the university is needed. However, the high frequency of suggestions by the different researchers to establish independent tribunals at college and school levels within the university with a mandate to handle conflicts relating to the ownership of intellectual property reignites the challenge to develop appropriate models of resolving such conflicts that might be affordable and more private. The findings reported in this dissertation are a timely response to the current dearth of research literature on particular methods of resolution of conflicts relating to the ownership of intellectual property in institutions of higher learning in the developing world especially in Uganda