What must participants consider when they are not interested in submitting a patent application or want to abandon an application which was once submitted? Must the European Commission be informed?

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

Can the owners of foreground decide not to protect it and transfer its ownership in the benefit of the inventors?

Yes. They can.

However prior notice about the intention to transfer the foreground must be given to the other project partners together with sufficient information concerning the future owner so as to permit them to exercise their access rights. Transfer of ownership is generally allowed, as long as the obligations regarding that foreground are passed on to the transferee.

What are the possibilities of protection of my Intellectual Property and ideas in the proposal stage?

In the proposal phase potential participants develop ideas for joint research activities. Potential project partners should know what knowledge they each bring, what they may need from others, what the state of the art is in the field of the project, and should develop a strategy on protection, use and dissemination of the future results. Such activities require discussions, exchange of information and ideas between the potential participants. Exchanging information with other potential partners is, thus, a necessity while planning a project proposal.

Do I have to inform the other participants concerning my intention to protect or not the foreground that I own?

The standard model Grant Agreement (GA) does not establish the obligation to formally inform or consult the other participants before taking measures to protect the foreground (for example by filing a patent application) or before deciding not to protect it. Nevertheless, it is advisable to inform them in advance, so they be in a position to express possible legitimate interests.