Are the ideas that I describe in my proposal protected?

Printer-friendly versionPDF version
Category: 

When applicants send proposals to the European Commission they set out details of the work, which is intended to be carried out under the project. Many ideas are, therefore, put forward by participants when submitting their proposals to the European Commission. This information is not only disclosed to the European Commission, but also to the independent experts, who assist in the evaluation of proposals.

Even though ideas are generally not protected under intellectual property rights, this does not mean that you do not have any type of tool you may use to protect them. In fact, you may rely on confidentiality to make sure that your ideas are not disclosed to the public, that is, that the people to whom you disclose your ideas have the obligation to keep them secret (i.e. not reveal them to anyone else).

Thus, all proposals and related data are treated under the principle of confidentiality by the European Commission. Independent experts must, therefore, sign an appointment letter binding them to maintain confidentiality of any document and data received.