16. Telegram From the Mission to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to the Department of State1

11403. CEDTO. Subject: Science Ministerial Discussion—Technological Gaps.

Discussion completed March 11 this major agenda item highlighted general endorsement OECD studies, need for European economic unity, and follow-up work on diffuse issue involving non-tariff barriers, restrictive business practices and patent-licensing procedures research intensive industries.
Chairman Stoltenberg (Germany) set tone for conference by stressing increasing significance OECD forum, particularly European-US dialogue, all common problems science and technology. He referred directly to value OECD discussions backing up current EC planning for concerted attack on technological problems which has objective of extension other European countries. CSP Chairman Spaey (Belgium) followed by underscoring current and future OECD efforts in creating conditions for success in development through science (education, research technology transfer).
Lead off speaker on gaps Rubinacci (Italy) pointed to need for effective European political economic social unity in order to have constructive competition and dialogue with US for balanced economic development. His proposals to ministerial meeting included international scientific and technical info system for industry needs, unification patent rules and technical standards, encouragement of research by US firms in Europe, technological forecasting studies, promotion research in large public sectors concerned with social economic goals.
Some 20 speakers including EC and Council of Europe observers praised and endorsed OECD work but focused little on CSP recommendations. Statements and follow-up discussion pushed by French, Belgian and Japanese reps focused largely on removal obstacles to technology transfer between US and other member countries. Issue took form of need for further work on non-tariff barriers, restrictive business practices, with extended discussion of patent licensing arrangements.
French Minister Schuman noting irreplaceable value OECD forum, and positive Hornig statement January US science policy review concerning availability technology, stated value of Kennedy negotiations [Page 36] put in doubt unless access to technology improved. He proposed OECD identify obstacles, set up negotiating machinery to facilitate transfer, particularly government patents, establishment code good business conduct.
Belgian PM Vanden Boeynants stressed value European technological community, enlarged EC, need for Europeans agree among themselves in order to negotiate with US.
Japanese Vice Minister Inoue as expected pushed for OECD work on international understanding aimed at removing restrictions on “basic” patent licenses which they say are common property of all mankind.
Hornig stated US anxious see expansion technological capabilities all OECD countries and US willingness to cooperate mutually beneficial reduction technology transfer barriers on specific issues. He endorsed analysis and recommendations in CSP report on gaps and noted US willingness exchange views on how multinational firms can most effectively complement national scientific and technological efforts. He clearly distinguished between actions US Government could take and those which lie within private sector.
Issue resolved by ministerial agreement member governments exchange views for improving condition technology transfer and negotiate as may be appropriate when specific problems identified. OECD requested establish inventory technology transfer obstacles especially field of patent licenses with view possible discussions and negotiations. Inventory to distinguish between patents subject control of government and those which are not.
This agreement, para 9 above, contained in recommendations attached to aide-mémoire to governments. Other modification in draft recommendations, ref annex to CMS (68)3, now refers to exchange of views on conditions which multinational companies, foreign owned companies and joint ventures could most effectively complement national scientific and technological effort including question maintaining research activities in countries where they operate plus original text of ref document. Second item under exchange of views shortened to say “the means for facilitating access to patents and scientific and technological information.” Hornig stated US Government would like to make it absolutely clear that US not in position to negotiate terms or conditions patent licenses private sector, ministerial aide-mémoire to governments, DAS/SPR/68.12 (1st rev.), essentially same as US text put forward as Secretariat document and approved by CSP.
Short press release notes agreement, para 9 above. Proposed text noting economic political fragmentation of Europe presents obstacles requiring concerted action and concrete steps towards European [Page 37] scientific technological policy dropped on French objection. Belgium and Netherlands backed UK in wanting inclusion.
Message other aspects science ministerial will follow.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Central Files, 1967–69, SCI 3 OECD. Limited Official Use. Also sent to Brussels for USEC and pouched to all OECD capitals.