Agreements

IP management in Horizon 2020: at the grant preparation stage

We are pleased to inform you that the European IPR Helpdesk has prepared a new fact sheet to give guidance on the central Intelelctual Property (IP) issues which consortia need to consider during the grant preparation stage, which are encompassed in two main agreements underpinning the contractual framework of EU-funded projects: the Grant agreement and the Consortium Agreement.

In terms of Intellectual Property Rights issues, the grant preparation stage is extremely important since the main commitments concerning IP are agreed upon in this phase between the consortium and the European Commission, and among consortium partners. In fact, before the final signature of the Grant Agreement, consortia have the opportunity to fine-tune the details outlined in Annex 1 of the project proposal.

This fact sheet is a follow-up to the previous one on “IP management in Horizon 2020: at the proposal stage”, whose reading is highly recommended beforehand.

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DESCA 2020 - Consortium Agreement model available now

DESCA, the most widespread model Consortium Agreement in the 7th Framework Programme, has been updated for Horizon 2020.

DESCA is a simple and comprehensive model, stripped of all unnecessary complexity in both content and language. The modular structure of DESCA, with various options and alternative modules and clauses, provides maximum flexibility.

Elucidation notes with concrete examples and detailed explanations about the various options and clauses are provided throughout the model. These notes will help research managers (who typically do not have legal training) and first-time FP participants to make informed choices about the best wording to protect their interests.

Initiated by key Horizon2020 stakeholder groups, and co-developed with the FP community, this initiative seeks to balance the interests of all participant categories: large and small firms, universities, public research institutes and RTOs, in the spirit of the Responsible Partnering Initiative. The DESCA Core Group is represented by ANRT, EUA, Eurochambres, EARTO, KoWi, LERU, VTT, ZENIT and coordinated by Fraunhofer and the Helmholtz Association.

For further information, please click here.

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European IPR Helpdesk templates on NDAs and MoUs updated

We are pleased to inform you that the European IPR Helpdesk has updated its Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs)  that can now be used independently of the kind of negotiations that you enter into, both in the context of EU-funded projects and for international partnerships.

In addition to that, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Horizon 2020 has been created. Alongside the one already available for FP7, the new document reflects the few changes brought by the new Horizon 2020 rules.

All these templates can be found and freely downloaded in the European IPR Helpdesk online library, under useful documents.

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H2020 MoU - Memorandum of Understanding

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Horizon 2020 is an agreement that defines the framework of the negotiations among the partners of a consortium and that is generally concluded in the very beginning of the negotiations on the involvement in a project, even before submitting a proposal. It expresses a convergence of will between the parties, indicating an intended common line of action, helping to explain any protocols for communication, information exchange, reporting, confidentiality issues, and modifications and conditions for terminating the agreement.

Allocation of shares of jointly developed results

Ownership over the intellectual property arising as a result of the innovation is one of the most critical issues to resolve in the framework of collaborative projects, especially in cases where two or more partners generate results jointly.

This case study sets out the likely actions to be undertaken in such a situation to avoid any drawbacks and for a proper management of a jointly owned research result.

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Exploitation channels for public research results

We are pleased to inform you that the European IPR Helpdesk has released a new fact sheet on the "Exploitation channels for public research results".

This fact sheet has the aim to present tools, tips and practices for public research organisations (PROs) to convert the knowledge resulting from publicly funded research activities into socio-economic benefits. This can be achieved in different ways, not only through direct commercialisation tools, but also via collaborative or contract research conducted in co-operation with or commissioned by the industry. In so doing, the dissemination and transfer of the generated knowledge to the market would therefore be ensured, with the objective of creating products and services to enhance social welfare.

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Commercialising Intellectual Property: Franchising

This fact sheet, as a part of the series on “Commercialising IP”, deals with franchising. According to the statistics of the European Franchise Federation, in 2009 the EU-17 Member States had more than 10,000 franchise brands, 10.8% of which represented the share of employment among small and medium sized-enterprises (SMEs). Franchising has been increasingly used by European companies and individuals as a route for exploitation of intangibles and expansion of their business to other territories and countries. This fact sheet will therefore help you understand what franchising is and particularly why it is an attractive business option, whether you are a potential Franchisor or Franchisee. Moreover, you will find in this document information on the legal environment in Europe and a checklist of the main steps to take when establishing a franchising partnership.

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Commercialising Intellectual Property: knowledge transfer tools

“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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