Does your idea need protecting?

IP advisor Olivia Tolan assists students, researchers and other employees at Uppsala University with issues related to intellectual assets and property rights within the academic world. Here she lists five points that are good to know about IP in general and UU Innovation’s IP support in particular.

Olivia Tolan is both a European and an American patent attorney. She has twenty years’ of experience working with IP issues at patent offices and in industry. As part of UU Innovation’s team of intellectual property law specialists, she also serves Karolinska Institutet and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), as well as other higher education institutions with counselling and education.

Facts about Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
IPR is a collective term for the legal protection of intangible assets. Patents, trademarks, designs and copyright are all examples of different forms of intellectual property rights.

1. A tool for extracting the most benefit from research

IP is a valuable support for utilising research results and often necessary for creating commercial value and long-term impact. This is especially true in certain areas, such as life science, where innovation development frequently requires major investments. Does your idea need protection? Request help from us and we’ll give you the answers. We evaluate the idea and the related conditions required to progress it further outside of the research lab walls. Together, we will develop an appropriate IP strategy that will be an important support for continued commercialisation.

2. Teachers’ exemption – a privilege and a responsibility

As a researcher at Uppsala University, you own the rights to your own research results as long as you have not agreed otherwise. This applies to doctoral students as well as professors. With this exemption also comes a responsibility for creating additional value from your research. Active efforts are needed to transform intellectual assets into innovations and benefits – you can do this work yourself or with support from us and other actors in Uppsala’s innovation support system.

3. Come early and keep in touch

The advice we provide is best given at an early stage, when research is still ongoing and before a real business idea has evolved. Doing things right from the start strengthens the commercial prospects while still allowing publication and major funding applications to take place. Just as important as discussing with us at an early stage is developing a continuous dialogue. New research findings can create new prospects and thus new opportunities to progress your work and commercialise the results.

4. A special mission

The need for advice and support in IP issues within academia is greater than many realise. This is both our experience and our driving force. Contractual issues related to collaborative projects, ‘sponsored’ projects or licensing agreements are examples of situations where there are many IP issues to consider. With our expertise in this field, we complement other legal support functions at the university. In addition to individual counselling, we also offer training. We are more than happy to visit your institution and participate in courses or hold a workshop for your research group.

5. Good at keeping secrets

Our existence is no secret, but what we do is. The advice we give is confidential and our services are free of charge. You can feel safe and secure with us.

Contact an IP advisor