Commercialising Intellectual Property: knowledge transfer tools

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“Commercialising IP” is a series of fact sheets published by the European IPR Helpdesk aiming to provide an introduction to various forms of commercialisation which can be useful for less experienced readers who may be involved in the exploitation of intangible assets. The 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 to save time and money.

This fact sheet deals with knowledge transfer. Knowledge arising from businesses takes many forms. It can be manifested in documents and publications such as books or scientific articles published by the organisation’s employees, as well as within documents underlying intellectual property titles, including patent, utility models and design rights. Knowledge can also be embedded in objects, such as materials or machinery. In the beginning however, knowledge is the know-how of the employees and collaborators, which they have acquired through training, study or experience.

These different forms of knowledge can be exchanged with other organisations, leading to improved use of knowledge and creation of innovation. In fact, innovation is nowadays mainly based on the interactions between businesses, as well as between them and research organisations. These relationships and transfers of knowledge allow businesses to exploit their own knowledge with the purpose of improving and creating new technologies, products and services, allowing the business to grow. These knowledge transfers are generally ruled by agreements, which can be complex. This is why this fact sheet aims to provide an overview of the common types of agreements through which they are achieved. Moreover, the most important matters to consider in these agreements are highlighted, helping you to protect your intangibles.

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