Monday, 14 February 2011

Digital IP protection service to the biopharmaceutical industry

Surety, LLC and SAFE-BioPharma Association have announced a partnership that leverages the SAFE-BioPharma digital identity management standard with Surety’s AbsoluteProof Service. The new arrangement will enable life sciences, bio-tech and R&D laboratories to protect intellectual property and legally defend the authenticity of digitally signed electronic files throughout their chain of custody. As part of the agreement, Surety has become a SAFE-BioPharma Vendor Partner.

Under the terms of the agreement, Surety is able to incorporate the SAFE-BioPharma identity management standard - used to verify and manage digital identities and to apply digital signatures to electronic records - into products using its AbsoluteProof cryptographically based time-stamp service. The new alliance will jointly target laboratories in small and mid-size biopharmaceutical companies as they transition from paper-based to electronic lab management workflows and record-keeping processes.
“Our goal is to help improve R&D efficiencies across the industry by providing a simple, transparent and easy way for biopharmaceutical organizations to protect the ownership of their scientific intellectual property for the long term,” said Tom Klaff, CEO of Surety. “By not only signing their research content, but also ‘sealing’ it to lock down the time of creation, and offering a legal defensibility guarantee behind it, companies can be certain that their discoveries will have the strongest, most legally defensible ‘who’ and ‘when’ attributes associated with them for the life of their research.”

AbsoluteProof provides a legally indisputable, vendor-neutral date and timestamp that is represented by the Surety Integrity Seal. It can be used to “seal” any form of digital content, including data in electronic laboratory notebooks (ELNs), which manage and record scientific research and are rapidly replacing paper notebooks in many laboratories worldwide. AbsoluteProof also can be deployed directly on the desktop, if no lab management systems are in place. In either paper or electronic form, this research is typically 'signed' on a regular basis by the scientist who created the work, and that content and signature is then “witnessed” and subsequently signed by another scientist, who attests to the authenticity of the original work.

However, what has been lacking in these 'signing ceremonies' as more organizations move to an electronic lab environment, is the ability to associate a long-term, legally defensible date and time connection with the newly created content. By incorporating the AbsoluteProof seal and the SAFE-BioPharma identity credential, joint customers will benefit by having the most authentic, legally defensible “signed and sealed” electronic research content.

Surety backs its 'seals' with a Legal Defensibility Guarantee, which guarantees that content sealed by AbsoluteProof with withstand the most rigorous legal challenges to the content’s authenticity.

“We welcome Surety as a SAFE-BioPharma Vendor Partner and look forward to offering their services to our member companies,” said Mollie Shields-Uehling, President and CEO of SAFE-BioPharma Association. “We anticipate this will be an effective alliance that will enhance the use of the standard throughout the R&D sector of the biopharmaceutical industry.”

An electronic record or file carrying a SAFE-BioPharma digital signature has greater legal protection than one signed using other technologies. It provides authentication, non-repudiation and data integrity across every bit of information. The signature is valid for the life of the document and becomes invalid if any part of the signed document is ever changed.

Surety, LLC