Where foreground is capable of industrial or commercial application, it must be protected in an adequate and effective manner by its owner.

However, in case a participant decides not to do so or to abandon protection, it is advisable to inform the other participants in the project “so that they be in a position to express (and substantiate) possible legitimate interests… These issues may be covered in detail within the consortium agreement or through specific separate arrangements” (in Guide to Intellectual Property in FP7).

The European Commission must also be informed so as to be able to assume ownership of the concrete foreground and take measures to protect it on behalf of the European Union, with the consent of the participant concerned.

Another option that participants may consider is to first transfer the foreground to the other participants or to third parties, along with the associated obligations, who may wish to protect it instead.