Good practices in the management of intellectual property (IP) comprise, in short, the following steps:
- Maintain total secrecy. Any written or oral disclosure of information concerning the invention, excludes filing any patent application in most countries (however, a grace period of one year can be granted in some countries, such as for example in the United States of America).
- Contact the technology transfer office and file in an Invention Disclosure Form (IDF) or a Invention Software Disclosure form SwDF. The IDF and SwDF are confidential documents and represent the starting point to initiate the procedure to request an intellectual protection and to commercialise an invention or a computer program.
- Do not sign any agreements with third parties without consulting the technology transfer office.
The technology transfer office will then follow its internal procedure:
Evaluation of the invention
- In collaboration with the inventor(s) and IP professionals, the technology transfer office investigates the patentability of the invention and its potential commercial value.
- PACTT analyses the prior art in the field of the invention, (all that is known prior to the filing of the application, mainly in scientific and patent literature), in order to determine the novelty and relevance of the invention.
- This evaluation of the patentability is completed by the identification of potential markets and an estimation of the commercial potential for the invention.
- If the result of the evaluation is positive, a patent attorney is contacted and a patent application is filed. Only inventions with likely commercial value and/or with humanitarian interest will be patented.
- If the result of the evaluation is negative, the inventor is duly informed of the reasons of the decision. The rights to the ownership of the invention remain at the Institution. Upon written request by the inventor, the Institutions may decide, at their own discretion, to transfer the IP rights to the inventor through a formal agreement.