The IP rules applicable to CIP projects are mainly established in the Grant Agreement applicable to the specific programme (for instance: Eco-Innovation, ICT PSP, etc.).
Potential participants in these projects should, therefore, check the model Grant Agreement, as well as all the documentation provided by EACI in the webpage for specific calls.
It is very important that potential participants first define which information is going to be used and shared in the project according to its purposes. Registration of IP rights is generally needed to get legal protection and exclusive use of intangible assets. Thus, potential participants should also verify whether the IP assets they identified have been protected as IPR (e.g. patent, industrial design).
Once IP assets are defined and protected, it is essential to consider the appropriate conditions to use and share them within the project, for instance, any economic terms if applicable. In case it is necessary to use any IP belonging to a third party, it is advisable to get adequate authorisations to avoid any future infringement.
Finally, before exchanging information consortium partners should enter in appropriate confidentiality agreements.
At the proposal stage, participants are likely to exchange valuable and confidential information about their assets with others partners. To avoid losing such information, it is advisable to conclude a confidentiality agreement before disclosing any information. Regarding the transmission of the proposal to the EACI, no special agreement is necessary since the experts who evaluate proposals are bound by a confidentiality obligation.
Moreover, during the project, both the project participants and the EACI are bound by the confidentiality obligations incorporated into the specific grant agreement.
Generally, the participants are the owners of the results they generate under the project, including any IP rights involved.
Nevertheless, in every case it is recommended to revise the specific rules of each project, particularly the IPR clauses included in the grant agreement.
In some projects it is necessary to grant access rights to the pre-existing information (results, know how, etc, all these named “background”) and/or to the results generated under the project (“foreground”) when the other consortium partners need them to carry out their own work under the project or to use and exploit their own foreground.
Thus, it is advisable to consult the applicable Grant Agreement in order to check whether in your concrete project it is or not mandatory to grant such rights.
In accordance with the provisions of the model Grant Agreement (when applicable), valuable results (capable of industrial or commercial application) should be protected. Protection is not mandatory in all cases, though the decision to leave results without protection should preferably be made in consultation with the other project partners, which may wish to overtake ownership. Results should be, furthermore, protected in an adequate and effective manner in conformity with the relevant legal provisions, having due regard to the legitimate interests of all project partners.