Intellectual Property in biotechnology

Biotechnology is a field where technology advances rapidly but returns on investments may be slow. For this reason, it is important for public research organisations and enterprises to protect the innovation that they generate with Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), which provide a basis for return on investment in research and development, by granting monopoly rights for a certain period of time to their owners.

This fact sheet gives a brief overview of:

  • The different forms of  IP that can be relevant in biotechnology, focussing more specifically on patents;
  • The role of biotechnology in innovation in Europe; and
  • How to use patent information for innovation indicators.

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Call for expression of interest for setting up of a list of coaches for coaching activities in connection with the SME Instrument

The Horizon 2020 SME Instrument is a novel funding tool supporting SMEs with the ambition and potential to engage in innovation-driven growth on the European and global markets. Successful beneficiaries of the call will be offered coaching and mentoring support during the first two phases of the SME instrument.

The Executive Agency for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (EASME) of the European Commission has released a call for expressions of interest to set up a list of external experts, called "business coach(es)"

The coaching support will focus on developing organisational capabilities to equip the beneficiaries with the necessary skills to ensure commercial growth based on the company’s SME Instrument project. Participation in the coaching support offered is voluntary for SME Instrument participants.  The role of the business coaches is therefore to provide business coaching and leadership development support to companies.

For more information and to submit expressions of interest, please click here.

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Open Access to scientific publications and research data in Horizon 2020: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Affordable and easy access to scientific information is very important for the scientific community itself, but also increasingly important for innovative small businesses. Improving access to scientific information is also about increasing openness and transparency, which are essential features of Responsible Research and Innovation and contributes to better policy-making.

All projects receiving Horizon 2020 funding will have the obligation to make sure any peer-reviewed journal article which they publish is openly accessible, free of charge.

This fact sheet is written as a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document, in order to answer queries received from Horizon 2020 applicants. This fact sheet should be read in parallel with the “Guidelines on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in Horizon 2020”.

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WIPO Launches Unique Image-Based Search

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has unveiled a one-of-a-kind image-search function for its Global Brand Database, adding a new feature that allows users to upload an image to search for visually similar trade marks and other brand-information records from among the millions of images in the collection.

The new, easy-to-use image-search technology supplements the database’s other querying criteria, including Vienna Classification codes, brand-holder names, country of origin and others. With this new addition, for example, a user can simply upload a proposed logo and quickly return records – sifting through more than 4 million images from 15 national and international collections - of other protected images that may bear a resemblance.

For more information and to get acquainted with this new tool, please click here.

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Madrid Yearly Review on International Registrations of Trade Marks

The year 2013 saw the accession of four new countries to the WIPO-administered Madrid System. It is now possible for trademark holders to apply for protection and manage their trademarks globally in 92 jurisdictions through the centralized procedures offered by the Madrid System.

This report gives an account of the data compiled by the WIPO in the processing of international applications and registration for the calendar year 2013.

The full report is available here.

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IP management in Horizon 2020: project implementation and conclusion

You have succeeded in the evaluation of your Horizon 2020 project proposal and finally signed the grant agreement, as well as the consortium agreement. It is now time to start implementing the project for which you will receive funding from the EU.

Hence, in terms of intellectual property, the implementation stage assumes particular importance as the exploitation and dissemination of project results is a key objective of Horizon 2020 projects. This final fact sheet of our Horizon 2020 series therefore highlights the steps you need to follow to pave the way for the exploitation and dissemination of the intellectual property generated during the implementation of your project.

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How to manage IP in Horizon 2020: 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 Intellectual 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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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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Final Report from the Expert Group on Intellectual Property Valuation

The European Commission  appointed a panel of European intellectual property (IP) valuation experts whose tasks included reviewing the valuation methods for IP and their use, identifying bottlenecks in these methods for the purpose of a company’s financial reporting, access to finance and litigation, identifying good practices and recommending policy actions.

According to this report, “the Expert Group has demonstrated that it is not the lack of valuation methods per se, or even standards for valuing IP that are missing, but rather other barriers that are having a greater influence on business and lenders.” As a consequence, the Expert Group proposes four main policy actions to reduce the identified barriers:

  • Establishing a data source containing information for use by valuation professionals, as a way to enhance credibility of valuations by improving data and available information on IP transactions,
  • Creating an organization to oversee IP valuation practice as a way to increase confidence in the quality of valuations being performed and to ensure that valuations are in line with generally accepted principles and standards,
  • Introducing a risk sharing scheme for banks to facilitate IP secured lending to innovative companies, especially SMEs,
  • Introducing an additional reporting section for intangible assets and IP that would increase the transparency of IP value within company accounts, providing important information to lenders, investors and stakeholders.

To read the full report, click here.

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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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