Commercialising Intellectual Property: Assignment Agreements

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“Commercialising IP” is a series of fact sheets published by the European IPR Helpdesk aiming at providing an introduction to various forms of commercialisation which can be useful for less experienced readers who may likely be involved in the exploitation of intangible assets. Content provided therein is not intended to be exhaustive, and seeking professional advice is strongly recommended when it comes to choosing the most suitable commercialisation practice for your organisation and dealing with the complex legal issues surrounding these agreements. Hence, with these guides we aim to provide you with an understanding of the basic principles, which can help you saving time and money.

This fact sheet deals with the assignment of intellectual property rights. An assignment can be beneficial in many business circumstances. Examples may be when your company does not have the means to undertake commercialisation or prefers to receive a once-off lump sum payment for the innovative technology. This implies no later concerns regarding the maintenance and enforcement of the intellectual property rights. Assignments can also be very beneficial within the context of collaborative research: for example in the case of a transfer of IP ownership from one of the collaborative research partners to another organisation. Therefore, it is important to understand “what is an IP assignment” as it can be an effective route for the exploitation of your intellectual property. In this fact sheet you can also find an outline of the main provisions of an assignment agreement as well as a checklist to remind you of the most important steps when negotiating an assignment.

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