Intellectual Property (“IP”) is an area of very substantial importance in the academic environment of the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB). The purpose of defining an IP policy is to encourage the generation of IP by staff1, students2, and other relevant parties3 (together referred to as “personnel”) This ITB IP Policy (IP Policy) is intended to provide support and guidance regarding commercial exploitation, ownership and income from IP and the use of ITB facilities and resources to ensure that the development of IP is mutually beneficial for personnel and ITB.
The Institute recognises and encourages the principle that IP developed at ITB (“ITB IP”) should be used for the greatest public benefit. Commercialisation is often the most efficient means of promoting the widest possible dissemination and use of ITB IP. In such circumstances, it is appropriate and desirable for both ITB and the originator of the IP to benefit from the commercial exploitation of IP produced at ITB.
In particular, this document sets out the principles and rules that govern the creation, ownership and commercialisation of IP developed by personnel participating in programmes carried out using ITB facilities, know-how, confidential information and/or ITB IP (together, “ITB Assets”).
ITB has a strong interest in promoting the generation of IP in the context of the Government’s drive to create a knowledge based economy, to increase the number of patents coming out of third level institutions and to transfer that technology into viable commercial entities.
For the avoidance of doubt, this IP policy (and any subsequent amendments made to this IP policy) is the agreed protocol or IP policy referenced in:
the staff contract of employment;
the staff fixed purpose contract;
any document engaging an other relevant party;
the student handbook; and
any acceptance form or intellectual property assignment agreement signed by staff and/or students and/or other relevant parties.
This IP Policy also forms part of the regulations of ITB which govern the conduct of students and staff.
ITB defines IP as the tangible or intangible results of research, development, teaching, or other intellectual activity (a full definition is contained at Annex I). Such IP may be created by academic, research and other staff, by students and by other relevant parties such as contractors and consultants.
IP allows creativity and innovation to be captured and owned in the same way that physical property can be owned. IP includes individually and collectively all technical innovations, inventions, improvements, and/or discoveries, information, writings and software, whether or not patentable or otherwise susceptible to IP protection, including technology and materials in their tangible form and includes IP generated from ITB assets.
See the full definition of intellectual property in Annex I.
3. Aims of the policy
The objective of this IP policy is to provide a consistent framework within which ITB IP is developed and managed for the benefit of ITB, the originator and the public good.
The specific aims of the IP policy are as follows:
To create an environment that encourages the generation of new knowledge by ITB departments and personnel.
To encourage the recognition and identification of IP within ITB and promote an entrepreneurial culture among personnel that fosters the development of potentially commercial IP arising from their research at ITB.
To provide an efficient process by which the commercial potential of IP can be assessed by ITB and its advisors and to ensure that the process of IP evaluation, protection and commercialisation are carried out in a timely manner.
To motivate the development and exploitation of IP by providing appropriate rewards to both originators and ITB, and to provide administrative assistance to originators.
To provide support and supervision for the creation of economic structures through which ITB IP is developed and used commercially.
To maximise the earnings potential from commercialisation and to utilise financial and other returns to advance and encourage research in ITB.
To encourage strategies of commercialisation and technology transfer that provide the greatest benefit to the Irish economy.
To encourage public use and commercialisation of ITB IP by facilitating its transfer from ITB to industry and business.
To continue to recognise the traditional ITB practices with respect to education, publication and scholarly works.
To ensure that the financial return from the development of ITB IP does not distort decisions and operations of ITB in a manner contrary to the mission of ITB.
To give due regard to the non-financial benefits (e.g. non-cash consideration, benefit of strategic relationships between ITB and third parties, access to IP and confidential information) that will accrue to ITB and to the originators of IP in pursuing the goals of this IP policy.
To develop and continually improve a long-term strategy that enables the development of IP, related commercialisation and technology transfer, together with maintenance of high standards of education.
To foster the general awareness of personnel of this policy through dissemination and information campaigns, and to provide specific training to research active personnel.
4. Intellectual property committee
A Committee shall be set up in ITB after the adoption of this IP policy and shall consist of the following members (the “IP committee”):
President (ex officio).
Head of School/Head of Department/or nominee (from the school to which the proposal is relevant).
Secretary / Financial Controller (or nominee).
Head of Development (Chair).
External Services Manager.
Innovation Centre Manager.
Expert in area of technology (appointed in consultation with inventor), as required.
Other professional advisors as required.
The IP committee members will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement regarding proposals submitted and regarding the IP produced at ITB and presented to the IP committee. This will ensure that new ideas are protected. ITB reserves the right to alter the composition of the IP committee.
The relevant ITB Project Manager/ITB Academic Supervisor may be required to put forward a proposal to the IP committee regarding the IP on a project and may be requested to attend a committee meeting, where appropriate.
Members of the IP committee will be required to declare their interest in a proposal if such exists and to absent themselves from any discussion pertaining thereto.
The Office of Development is in charge of each of the activities set out in this IP policy including (without limitation) putting the decisions of the IP committee into effect.
The importance of appropriate outside professional assistance is acknowledged. The IP committee and the Office of Development will avail of these resources when appropriate.
5. Role of the IP committee
Processing of IP applications.
Determining the commercial value of IP and/or inventions.
Determining IP agreements with industry regarding collaborative research projects.
Facilitating a fair and equitable return to those involved in commercialisation of their research/work.
Nominating negotiators with third parties and ensuring a reasonable financial return to the Personnel involved (where appropriate) and to ITB.
6. General provisions of the ITB IP policy
6.1 As a general rule (further details of which are set out in paragraph 6.3, and subject to the exceptions set out in this IP policy), any IP rights in or to any material/works created by personnel in the course of their employment or education by ITB or in relation to work carried out for ITB is the property of and vests solely and absolutely in ITB or such companies or organisations as ITB may nominate for such purposes. Such material/works include, but are not limited to any:
copyright (including rights in computer software and moral rights),
confidential information rights in design,
semiconductor topography rights,
or other intellectual property rights or other property rights, (whether vested, contingent or future anywhere in the world).
This applies to any IP in materials which are developed by Personnel which they cause to come into existence:
during the working or teaching hours of ITB; or
when using ITB’s equipment, supplies, facilities or ITB assets; or
using ITB’s confidential information, trade secrets, know how or any ITB IP; or
in relation to any work performed for ITB (including pursuant to any third party funded research programmes).
6.2 At ITB's reasonable cost, personnel also agree at any later time to execute any documentation or otherwise provide assistance to ITB to secure, protect, perfect or enforce any of ITB’s rights, title and interests in and to ITB IP.
6.3 This IP Policy is applicable to IP that is owned by ITB, including (without limitation) for any of the reasons outlined below:
It is developed by Personnel in the course of their normal or specifically assigned duties either when IP could be reasonably be expected to result from the carrying out of those duties and/or, at the time the IP was developed, there was a special obligation on the relevant personnel to further the interest of ITB.
Under the 2000 Act (as defined in Annex 1 of this IP policy), ITB is the first owner of any copyright in the work created by employees in the course of their employment unless precluded by a prior agreement between ITB and a third party (or is covered by paragraph 8 of this IP policy).
The IP arises out of funded or non-funded research where such research has, in the opinion of ITB, made use of the equipment, facilities, ITB assets and/or other resources of ITB (except where ownership of such IP was provided for in a prior agreement between ITB and third parties).
If it is a condition of the appointment of a student to perform research that ITB should have ownership of the IP arising from the research performed by such student.
If it is a condition of the appointment of any other relevant party to perform research that ITB should have ownership of the IP arising from the research performed by such other relevant party.
6.4 IP arising from research or other work sponsored by an external organisation (e.g. Enterprise Ireland) shall be subject to the IP provisions that are stipulated in the related agreement between ITB and the external organisation (“external agreement”). Where an external agreement requires all new IP rights to be assigned to a private company, the entry level (or “background”) ITB IP should be defined so that it is not inadvertently assigned to the private company as part of the new IP (also described as “foreground IP” or “results”) but is retained as ITB IP. All external agreements should be reviewed by a legal person representing ITB.
For the avoidance of doubt, where IP is generated from research that is 100% funded by monies provided directly by the State, or by any not-for-profit financial instrument which has been established by an organisation or individual, and awarded through a public service organisation charged with the granting and dissemination of research funds, this IP will be exclusively and absolutely owned by ITB.
6.5 The IP Policy also extends to other relevant parties such as non-employees who participate in research projects at the Institute including visiting academics, industrial personnel etc. unless a specific waiver has been approved. Other relevant parties at ITB who have a prior existing and conflicting intellectual property agreement or arrangement with another employer or third party must enter into an agreement with ITB (and their employer or relevant third party) (see Annex III) to abide by the conditions of this IP policy in the course of their activities in ITB.
6.6 In order to enable the achievement of the aims and goals of this IP policy, the Office of Development will, through dissemination of information and the holding of general information sessions for personnel, foster the general awareness of personnel of this policy. In addition, the Office of Development intends to provide specific training on this IP policy and its day to day application and relevance to research active personnel.
Staff are permitted to engage in consultancy projects for third parties subject to compliance with applicable ITB policies in force from time to time and subject to approval by the President of ITB. Any such approved consultancies must be disclosed to the IP committee.
8. Intellectual property assignments and patent assignments
For the avoidance of doubt, the provisions of this paragraph 8 apply to all the departments, centres, institutes, schools and personnel conducting research or other intellectual activity using ITB assets and ITB’s supplies, facilities, confidential information, trade secrets or existing ITB IP.
As a condition of:
employment or engagement by ITB as staff;
admission by ITB as a student; or
engagement by ITB as an other relevant party;
each student, staff member and other relevant party (as the case may be) shall comply with this IP policy and shall agree to assign to ITB (or a person or company nominated by ITB or an agency which provided the funding for the relevant research) any and all IP in and to inventions discovered and produced or otherwise developed while the person was personnel as the case may be.
When required by the specific circumstances of a project, and on the request of the IP committee, a member of personnel will agree:
to sign an Intellectual property assignment agreement (see Annex II); and
to execute such documents of assignment or other documentation required to assign or transfer IP and any moral rights to ensure, protect, perfect and enforce ITB’s rights, title and interest in ITB IP;
to do anything that may reasonably be required to assist any assignee of any patent application or other IP to obtain, protect and maintain its rights, title and interest; and
shall use all reasonable endeavours to do or procure to be done all such further acts and things and execute or procure the execution of all such other documents as may be reasonably required from time to time for the purpose of giving each party hereto the full benefit of the provisions of this IP policy.
9. Research financed by third parties
Any research which is partly or wholly financed by any third party agency shall be subject to the specific provisions of the grant or contract covering that research. In the event of any inconsistency between this IP policy and the terms of any such grant or contract then the provisions of the said grant or contract shall prevail provided that the IP clauses in such grant or contract have been reviewed by the Office of Development (who will seek external advice if necessary) and, in the case of a contract, such contract has been properly executed by ITB.
10. Administration of the IP policy
At ITB, the office responsible for supporting the development and commercialisation of ITB IP is the Office of Development. All ITB IP created by personnel must be disclosed in accordance with the procedures laid down in this IP policy.
It is a condition of:
employment or engagement by ITB as Staff;
admission by ITB as a Student; or
engagement by ITB as an other relevant party;
that the results of all research or projects should be fully, promptly and completely disclosed to ITB.
In order to enable ITB to ensure that it fulfils its obligations to organisations such as Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, companies and other third parties in both the public and private sectors, who are funding research at ITB, all personnel must disclose any IP arising from such research to ITB through the Office of Development as soon as possible after such IP is apparent. The IP should be kept confidential for a period of time until a timely evaluation of the case assessment (including, without limitation, patentability) has taken place. No publication should be made prior to disclosure. Confidentiality agreements and/or non-disclosure agreements should be used where appropriate.
Procedures to be followed in respect of IP protection applications
1. Submission of Invention Declaration Form (see Annex IV ):
Regarding any discovery or invention made that might be useful, patentable or otherwise protectable, the IP policy requires that personnel complete an Invention Declaration Form.
This form should be promptly submitted to the Office of Development.
2. Commercial evaluation of IP:
Any IP reported in an Invention Declaration Form shall be submitted to the IP committee for assessment under the guidelines of the IP policy and for recommendations to ITB regarding the patentability and/or potential commercialisation.
The IP committee may recommend that other suitably qualified advisors or external consultants be engaged to advise on the assessment of the IP.
The criteria to assess the commercial value of the IP should include (without limitation):
Assessment that the IP does not cater for a once-off need and that it has a potential long-term benefit.
Technical and commercial feasibility.
Proof of concept (business plan, access to finance etc.).
Potential for sale or licensing of technology or consultancy.
Demonstrates a competitive advantage based on differentiated or innovative product or service.
Development stage of the subject matter.
Commercial focus and profit motive.
Study of comparable existing subject matter, licences and commercialisation practices.
Proximity to market.
Market valuations – in other words ‘what is the current market willing to pay?’
Barriers to entry into markets.
Estimated projected sales based on market research.
Third party assistance including for example input from industry and state agencies.
Estimated cost of patent process.
Whilst the criteria listed above are not exhaustive, it provides guidance to persons submitting an application as well as to those determining the commercial value. As it is a complex decision, the IP committee may refer to other expertise (internal or external) where necessary, and further criteria may be applied.
A decision will be made by the IP committee within a reasonable time (e.g. 60/90 days, but in any event no longer than one year from date of report) of receipt of the application, where practicable, and the originator of the IP will be notified in writing of the decision made.
If the evaluation is rejected by the IP committee, the IP committee may decide in appropriate circumstances, to offer the opportunity to the originator of the IP to pursue exploitation independently if appropriate under agreed written terms. ITB will have no rights if it subsequently proves successful, subject to any agreed terms.
3. Submission of a patent application or an application for other protection:
ITB shall have the right, but not the obligation, either directly or through an outside agent, to seek patent or other protection of the IP and to undertake efforts to introduce the invention into public use.
Where a decision is made by the IP committee to proceed with a patent application, the originator of the IP is required to cooperate in every reasonable way, to execute all necessary documents and to assist the IP committee in completing the patent application form. The application should remain confidential until such time as the process is complete. Confidentiality agreements will be used where appropriate.
Commercialisation activities should recognise specific terms and conditions in appropriate funding contracts including any external agreements.
The cost of the submission of the application shall be paid by ITB. Any expenses incurred will be reimbursed to ITB prior to the distribution of any royalty income (if any) from the IP.
The originator of the IP and ITB shall take all reasonable precautions to protect the integrity and confidentiality of the IP in question. The originator of the IP should be aware that publication prior to the filing of patent applications may prevent the granting of certain patents.
ITB may decide at any stage to withdraw from the process of exploiting an particular piece of IP. This may arise where:
Concern exists regarding the technical or commercial feasibility of a particular piece of IP,
costs of exploiting the IP are excessive, or
external sponsorship of the process is no longer available.
The originator of the IP will be notified in writing of the intention of ITB to withdraw from the process and the withdrawal will apply from immediate effect.
The IP may, at ITB’s entire discretion, be assigned or licensed to the originator in appropriate circumstances, offering the opportunity to the originator of the IP to pursue exploitation independently.
No patent application, assignment, licensing or other agreement may be entered into or will be considered valid with respect to ITB IP except when properly and lawfully executed by ITB.
The Office of Development will assist, provide advice, or procure the provision of outside professional advice in relation to the various options for commercialisation and technology transfer that may be appropriate in order to best meet the aims of this IP Policy, including:
Licensing the IP to a third party for a fixed sum or a royalty related to future sales.
Assigning the IP to a third party for a fixed sum or a royalty related to future sales.
Developing the commercial potential of the IP through a campus company.
Developing the commercial potential of the IP through a joint venture with a third party.
Any other arrangement that may be considered appropriate.
In providing this advice and assistance, the Office of Development will give due consideration to the retention of the right to use and access know-how and research materials for the purpose of continuing and further research.
13. Licensing and division of income
Technology transfer fund
ITB will establish a research fund to be used to promote and enhance research and development activity and facilities within ITB as determined by the Research and Development Committee (“R&D Committee”) from time to time - the Technology Transfer Fund (“TT Fund”). The R&D Committee will give due cognisance to the research area/centre that secured the funding in deciding on its expenditure.
The TT Fund will be used to assess, protect and facilitate the commercialisation of ITB IP through the pursuit of patent or other protection, the granting of licenses, the development of campus companies and/or otherwise to ensure maximum benefit to the Institute and the public good, as determined by the IP committee in line with the IP policy and approval of the R&D Committee.
Division of income – General principles
The following points apply in relation to licensing and division of income from commercialising ITB IP resulting from ITB research:
ITB welcomes the development by industry, for public use and benefit, of inventions and other IP resulting from ITB research. ITB will maintain a flexible and open approach to bringing ITB IP into commercial use. Each case will be considered individually and will involve an assessment of all the potential risks and potential rewards.
The definition of “income” includes revenue derived from the relevant patents or any other ITB IP in question, which are commercialised by ITB, and also includes (without limitation) up-front licence fees, down payments, minimum annual payments, royalties on sales and is net of any expenses incurred by the ITB in commercialising or protecting the relevant patents or other ITB IP.
All direct expenses incurred by ITB in:
the patenting or other registration or protections of ITB IP; and
the commercialisation of an invention or any other ITB IP;
including (without limitation) administrative, licensing, legal, and any other expenses and costs and any subsequent investigation, development and promotion, will be deducted from the initial royalty income or lump sum. No royalty income will be made available for distribution until such expenses have been recovered.
If more than one inventor or department is involved, unless formally agreed amongst themselves, with due regard to the value and substance of their respective contributions, the Inventor’s share set out above shall be divided equally among them.
The division of royalty income will be carried out within 2 months of the receipt of such income by ITB.
The originator of the IP’s share shall continue to be paid even though he/she may have left ITB.
For the avoidance of doubt, personnel (whether originators of IP or otherwise) that are not staff or students but are other relevant party shall not be entitled to royalty income arising from ITB IP to which they have contributed unless this is stated in their contract of engagement or ITB agrees otherwise in writing.
Division of income from patents
Subject to the general principles set out above, income derived from inventions or other IP which are patented and commercialised by ITB in accordance with the provisions of this IP policy will (subject to any Ministerial/Government Department consents which may be required from time to time) be distributed between the originator(s), the originator(s)’ Department(s) and the ITB Research and TT Fund. While it is recognised that each project may have to be negotiated on its own merits, the following scale will apply (subject to final determination by the IP committee):
Level of patent income
ITB TT Fund
First €20,000 of patent royalties
of patent royalties
Division of income from intellectual property other than patents
Subject to the general principles set out above, division of income derived from commercialising ITB IP which is not patented may occur from time to time and must be approved by the Financial Controller of ITB on a case by case basis. It is intended that the division of income will where possible be agreed in advance of commencing a research project. However, it is acknowledged that it is more difficult to calculate the level of income that is derived from IP that is not patented than from patents due to issues such as the following:
Non-patented IP is often used in bundles where a number of kinds of IP are involved e.g. trade secrets, confidential information and know-how with each kind of IP belonging to a separate originator.
Where non-patented IP is supplied in bundles, it can be difficult to attribute specific value to each of the parts of the bundle.
Third party IP may form part of the bundle in question.
ITB non-patented IP may include or be based on third party IP and it may be difficult to separate out the value of each.
The ranges of income that might be approved by the IP Committee are set out below in the Guide Table, however the final division of income will be approved by that Committee (and in certain circumstances, may require the approval of the Minister of Education and Science). ITB reserves the right to offer a lump sum payment in lieu of an ongoing royalty payment.
Level of income derived from non-patented IP
ITB & TT Fund
First €20,000 of income
10 - 50%
25 - 45%
25 - 45%
Over €20,000 of income
10 - 35%
30 - 50%
30 - 50%
14. Intellectual property created outside ITB employment
ITB will have no interest in any inventions or other IP created by Personnel entirely on their own time without the use of any ITB Assets. The onus shall be on Personnel asserting their rights under this paragraph 14 to prove to the satisfaction of ITB that the relevant invention or IP was in fact created by them on their own time without the use of any ITB assets. Personnel must not infringe the Intellectual Property Rights of any third parties.
15. Publication of research results
It is ITB policy to encourage staff and students to place the results of their research in the public domain either through publication in learned journals or presentation at conferences. This is a vital factor for academic recognition. It is mandatory that such disclosure is not in violation of the terms of any agreement that has been entered into by ITB with a sponsor or other third party.
It must be recognised that premature publication or disclosure except on a confidential basis may make it impossible to obtain valid patent protection. Where possible the delay in publication to enable a patent application to be filed should be for a period of 90 days from the date when this IP is ready for publication. The placing of a thesis in the ITB library without ensuring that accessibility is restricted constitutes publication.
Any dispute between ITB and the originator of IP will be forwarded to an independent arbitrator to be agreed by the parties. Failing agreement, the arbitrator will be appointed by the President for the time being of the Law Society of Ireland. Expenses incurred in arbitration shall be deducted from royalty income before distribution.
17. Conflict of interest relating specifically to external or consultancy agreements
ITB encourages full disclosure of potential areas of conflict and open discussion at an early stage. ITB will endeavour to help alert staff and other relevant parties to recognise where conflicts may occur and to manage and resolve these conflicts.
18. Organisations and companies collaborating with ITB on research projects
As a public organisation, ITB has an obligation to ensure the maximum public benefit from the exploitation of IP created from both publicly funded research and collaborative co-funded research. This is usually best maximised when IP is commercially exploited.
The ITB IP committee will conduct a commercial evaluation on the IP created/to be created in a research project and will seek information from the collaborating organisation on how it intends to commercialise the IP, and also determine the IP ownership rights they require from the project. The evaluation to determine the commercial value and IP ownership rights will include an examination of the criteria listed in paragraph 11 of this policy. All such information requested and provided will be treated in strict confidence.
Upon above assessment, the IP committee will decide on the IP ownership rights ITB require and will agree the sale/assignment, licensing (exclusive or non-exclusive), or joint venture agreements or otherwise with the collaborating company to ensure maximum commercial benefits. A legal agreement will be executed between the parties, setting out the rights, entitlements and obligations of each party prior to the commencement of work on the project.
19. Monitoring and evaluation of policy
This IP policy will be monitored by the Office of Development on an on-going basis. The IP policy and related research, commercialisation and technology transfer will be monitored and evaluated on an annual basis and may be amended by ITB from time to time. All amendments to this IP policy shall be posted on the ITB Intranet and such amendments shall be fully valid and effective from the date of posting.
Annex I Definition of intellectual property
1 Intellectual Property
The ITB defines intellectual property as the tangible or intangible results of research, development, teaching, or other intellectual activity. Intellectual property allows creativity and innovation to be captured and owned in the same way as physical property can be owned. Intellectual property includes individually and collectively all technical innovations, inventions, improvements, and/or discoveries, information, writings and software, whether or not patentable or otherwise susceptible to intellectual property protection, including technology and materials in their tangible form.
Patents are intended to protect new and improved products and processes that have some technical innovation and are capable of industrial application.
A Patent gives its owner the right, for a limited period, to stop others from making, using or selling the invention without the permission of the owner in a particular territory. Patent rights are territorial in that an Irish Patent does not give Patent rights outside Ireland. Most Patents are for improvements in a known technology rather than the devising of a completely new technology.
Most of the Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000 came into force on January 1, 2001. This was intended to transpose a number of EU Directives into Irish law and to bring Irish law into conformity with its obligations under various International Treaties.
Copyright gives the right to control use of certain material such as books and other literature, art, music, sound recordings, films and broadcasts. However, copyright does not protect inventions (see Patents) or brand names (see Trademarks). Most, but not all, uses of copyright material will require permission from the copyright owner.
Copyright protection is automatic in Ireland in that there is no official application or recording system.
Trademarks are intended to protect a brand’s identity so as to distinguish the goods or services of one trader from those of another trader. A Trademark may be a word, logo, slogan, colour, three-dimensional shape and even a sound or smell. The Trademark must be capable of being represented in words and/or pictures.
1.4 Industrial design and unregistered design right
The Industrial Designs Act 2001, which brings Irish law into compliance with EU Directive 98/71/EC, came into force on July 1, 2002. Designs cover the appearance of a product, either the whole or a part, resulting from such features as lines, contours, colours, shape, texture or materials of the product itself or its ornamentation. The term product embraces any industrial or handicraft item. The term product has a wide meaning that includes packaging, get-up and graphic symbols (e.g. Desktop icons) etc.
Registration is not available for features of a design which are dictated by the technical function of the product. The new law contains a must fit exclusion under which it is not possible to obtain registration for features which are dictated by the need for the product to fit another. However, modular products, i.e, made up of several components which can be fitted together in different ways, are protectable.
Design Registration gives the owner the right, for a limited period (up to 25 years, with renewals every 5 years), to stop others from making, using or selling a product to which the design has been applied, or in which it is incorporated.
From early 2003, it will be possible to obtain a Registered Community Design covering all member states of the EU. Registered Community Design Applications will be handled by the office (OHIM) which currently handles Community Trade Marks.
An unregistered design right is available at Community level and eligibility for protection is the same as for a Registered Design. The right comes into existence automatically by the mere fact of making the product incorporating the design available to the public within the European Community. Protection is limited to 3 years and to preventing the use of copies of original designs. It is important to note that a Registered Design gives exclusivity whereas an unregistered design right can only be enforced where copying can be proved.
1.5 Confidential information and know how
Protection for confidential information and know-how arises from the law of confidentiality. The confidential information may be know-how associated with a Patent or a Patent Application, or material in existence before, for example, a Patent Application is filed, or material already protected by another form of intellectual property, for example, copyright.
1.6 Domain names
A domain name is a unique address on the Internet. There are various generic TLDs, such as .com and .biz, as well as, ccTLDs (Country code), such as .ie.
1.7 Tangible research property
This includes biological materials such as cell lines, plasmids, hybridomas, monoclonal antibodies and plant varieties; computer software, data bases, integrated circuit chips, prototype devices and equipment, circuit diagrams: and analytical procedures and laboratory methods, whether or nor not intellectual property protection is available through Patents and/or copyright or otherwise.
1.8 Other forms of intellectual property
Other forms of intellectual property include, but are limited to, database right for certain types of database (under Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000); protection for semi-conductor topographies; plant breeders’ rights in certain plant varieties; and protection against unfair competition under “passing off” law.
The IP Policy is applicable to ITB Intellectual Property that is owned by the ITB for any of the reasons outlined below:
It is developed by ITB Personnel in the course of their normal or specifically assigned duties either when intellectual property could be reasonably expected to result from the carrying out of those duties and/or, at the time the intellectual property was developed, there was a special obligation on the relevant ITB personnel to further the interest of ITB.
Under the 2000 Act (as defined below), the ITB is the first owner of any copyright in the work created by ITB Personnel in the course of his/her employment unless precluded by a prior agreement between the ITB and a third party (or is covered by paragraph 5 of this IP Policy ).
The intellectual property arises out of funded or non-funded research where such research has, in the opinion of ITB, made use of the equipment, facilities, ITB assets and other resources of the ITB unless such action was precluded by prior agreement between the ITB and third parties.
If it is a condition of a research contract with a third party that the ITB should have ownership of the intellectual property arising from the contract.
Copyright and related rights Act (2000)
First ownership of copyright.
Section 23 (1) of the 2000 Act provides that: “The author of a work shall be the first owner of the copyright unless …. the work is made by an employee in the course of employment, in which case the employer is the first owner of any copyright in the work, subject to any agreement to the contrary”.
Maker of database.
Section 322 (2) of the 2000 Act provides that: Where a database is made by an employee in the course of employment, his or her employer shall be regarded as the maker of the database, subject to any agreement to the contrary”.
Patents Act (1992)
Right to patent.
Section 16(1) of the 1992 Act provides that: “The right to a patent shall belong to the inventor or his successor in title, but if the inventor is an employee the right to a patent shall be determined in accordance with the law of the state in which the employee is wholly or mainly employed or, if the identity of such state cannot be determined, in accordance with the law of the state in which the employer has his place of business to which the employee is attached.”
Annex II Intellectual property assignment agreement for staff, students and other relevant parties
Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (“ITB”)
Intellectual Property Assignment Agreement for Staff, Students and Other Relevant Parties4 Research Project(s) Title:_________________________________ (the “Project(s)”)
Research Project(s) Number:_________________________________
I understand that, consistent with applicable laws and regulations, ITB is governed in the handling of intellectual property by its official IP Policy5 entitled Intellectual Property Policy and Procedures, (a copy of which I have received), and I agree to abide by the terms and conditions of this IP Policy in the course of my ITB activities and in the work that I carry out on the Project.
As a general rule (and subject to the exceptions set out in this IP Policy) any intellectual property rights in any material, (including any copyright (including rights in computer software and moral rights), patent, design right, trademark rights, brand rights, database rights, know how, trade secrets, confidential information rights in design, semiconductor topography rights or other intellectual property rights or other property rights, whether vested, contingent or future anywhere in the world), created by me in the course of my work with ITB (and in particular in the course of my work on the Project) are the property of and vest solely and absolutely in ITB (“ITB IP”).
Pursuant to the IP Policy, and in consideration of my participation in projects (and the Project(s)) administered by ITB, access to or use of facilities provided by ITB and/or other consideration, I hereby agree as follows:
I will disclose to ITB all potentially patentable inventions and other ITB IP conceived or first reduced to practice in whole or in part in the course of my ITB responsibilities, my participation in the Project(s) at ITB or with more than incidental use of ITB resources. I further assign to ITB all my right, title and interest in such patentable inventions and other ITB IP created in connection with ITB and/or the Project(s) and to execute and deliver all documents and do any and all such things necessary and proper on my part to effect such assignment. Such assignment is not inconsistent with the terms of my continuing employment outside of ITB (if any) or with any other agreement I have entered into.
I will not use any information defined as confidential or proprietary by any non-ITB employer (if any) in the course of my ITB responsibilities and I will not do consulting or research work for any non-ITB employer (unless such work is approved of in writing by ITB).
I will not enter into any agreement creating copyright or patent obligations in conflict with this Agreement. I hereby waive any moral rights to which I may be entitled under any legislation now existing or in future enacted in any part of the world and for the avoidance of doubt this waiver shall extend to the licensees and successors in title to the copyright in the ITB IP and the Project(s).
This Agreement is effective on date of my ITB hire, enrolment or participation in projects administered by ITB, and is binding on me, my estate, heirs and assigns.
[I hereby agree and acknowledge that in respect of the Project and in respect of my assignment of IP to ITB in this Agreement, my full and final entitlement to payment, royalty or other income arising therefrom is set out in the Schedule to this Agreement and I further agree and acknowledge that I shall have no other entitlement or claim against ITB or any party to whom ITB assigns or licences this IP in respect of payment, royalty or other income arising therefrom.]6
I agree and acknowledge that I have no right to any payment, royalty or other income in respect of the Project and in respect of my assignment of IP to ITB in this Agreement.]
Annex III Intellectual property assignment agreement for staff, students and other relevant parties7 who have a prior existing and/or conflicting intellectual property agreement or arrangement with another employer or a third party
Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (“ITB”)
Intellectual Property Assignment Agreement for Staff, Students and Other Relevant Parties8 who have a prior existing and/or conflicting Intellectual Property Agreement or arrangement with another employer or a third party I understand that, consistent with applicable laws and regulations, ITB is governed in the handling of intellectual property by its official IP Policy9 entitled Intellectual Property Policy and Procedures, (a copy of which I have received), and I agree to abide by the terms and conditions of this IP Policy in the course of my ITB activities.
As a general rule (and subject to the exceptions set out in the IP Policy) any intellectual property rights in any material, (including any copyright (including rights in computer software and moral rights), patent, design right, trademark rights, brand rights, database rights, know how, trade secrets, confidential information rights in design, semiconductor topography rights or other intellectual property rights or other property rights, whether vested, contingent or future anywhere in the world), created by you in the course of your work with ITB are the property of and vest solely and absolutely in ITB (“ITB IP”). Pursuant to the IP Policy, and in consideration of my participation in projects administered by ITB, access to or use of facilities provided by ITB and/or other consideration, I hereby agree as follows:
1. I will disclose to ITB all potentially patentable inventions and other ITB Intellectual Property conceived or first reduced to practice in whole or in part in the course of my ITB responsibilities, my participation in research projects at ITB or with more than incidental use of ITB resources. I further assign [jointly] to ITB [and to my non-ITB employer]10 all my right, title and interest in such patentable inventions and other ITB Intellectual Property created in connection with ITB and to execute and deliver all documents and do any and all such things necessary and proper on my part to effect such assignment. Such assignment is not inconsistent with the terms of my continuing employment outside of ITB or with any other agreement I have entered into.
2. I will not use any information defined as confidential or proprietary by my non-ITB employer in the course of my ITB responsibilities and I will not do consulting or research work for my non-ITB employer while at any facility owned or leased by ITB.
3. I am free to place my inventions in the public domain as long as in so doing neither I nor ITB violates the terms of any agreements that governed the work done or my agreements with my non-ITB employer.
4. I will not enter into any agreement creating copyright or patent obligations in conflict with this Agreement.
5. This Agreement is effective on date of my ITB hire, enrolment or participation in projects administered by ITB, and is binding on me, my estate, heirs and assigns.
6. [I hereby agree and acknowledge that in respect of the Project and in respect of my assignment of IP to ITB in this Agreement, my full and final entitlement to payment, royalty or other income arising therefrom is set out in the Schedule to this Agreement and I further agree and acknowledge that I shall have no other entitlement or claim against ITB or any party to whom ITB assigns or licences this IP in respect of payment, royalty or other income arising therefrom.]11
[Schedule] [Insert details of payment, royalty or other income
I agree and acknowledge that I have no right to any payment, royalty or other income in respect of the Project and in respect of my assignment of IP to ITB in this Agreement.]
Annex IV Invention declaration form
INVENTION DECLARATION FORM
1. Title of Invention
Affiliation with Institute (i.e. department, student, staff, visitor)
Address, contact phone no., e-mail
% Contribution to the Invention
3. Contribution to the Invention
Each contributor/potential inventor should write a paragraph relating to his/her contribution and include a signature and date at the end of the paragraph.
4. Description of Invention
(Please highlight the novelty/patentable aspect. Attach extra sheets if necessary including diagrams where appropriate).
5. Why is this invention more advantageous than present technology?
What are its novel or unusual features?
What problems does it solve?
Government Agency & Department
Industry or other Sponsor
7. Where was the research carried out?
8. What is the potential commercial application of this invention?
9. Was there transfer of any materials/information to or from other institutions regarding this invention?
If so please give details and provide signed agreements where relevant.
10. Have any third parties any rights to this invention?
If yes, give names and addresses and a brief explanation of involvement.
11. Are there any existing or planned disclosures regarding this invention?
Please give details.
12. Has any patent application been made? Yes/No
If yes, give date:____________ Application No.: ____________________
Name of patent agent: ______________________________________________
Please supply copy of specification.
13. Is a model or prototype available? Has the invention been demonstrated practically?
I/we acknowledge that I/we have read, understood and agree with this form and the Institute’s Intellectual Property and Procedures and that all the information provided in this disclosure is complete and correct.
I/we shall take all reasonable precautions to protect the integrity and confidentiality of the IP in question.
Annex V Data protection and confidentiality undertaking for employees, contractors or students taking part in a project involving ITB and an outside partner: DATA PROTECTION AND CONFIDENTIALITY UNDERTAKING
Name: Employee/Student ID Number (if applicable): Function: Project Title: Project Number: In consideration of my appointment by Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB) as a [research assistant] in the performance of services (“Services”) under the [research agreement] (“Agreement”) between ITB and [NAME OF PARTNER] (“Partner”) and the related opportunity to gain experience in the Services, I hereby acknowledge that I will acquire certain confidential information (“Confidential Information”) relating to ITB’s intellectual property, products and strategies and the intellectual property, products and strategies of the Partner.
I hereby undertake to use the Confidential Information only as may be necessary to perform the Services under the Agreement and not to disclose it to any person other than those who have agreed to the same confidentiality undertaking.
I shall use all precautions necessary to protect the Confidential Information from unauthorized disclosure.
I hereby acknowledge that the Confidential Information is a trade secret of ITB and/or the Partner and that ITB and/or the Partner may claim damages from the undersigned for loss of business in the event of any unauthorized disclosure.
For the purposes of the Data Protection Acts 1988 to 2003, I hereby consent to the processing of all personal data that I provide to ITB in connection with the performance of the Services and the Agreement.
This undertaking will continue indefinitely until
the Confidential Information is published or otherwise made public by ITB; or
I am expressly released from this undertaking by ITB,
and is not conditional on my being or remaining an employee or student of ITB.
I hereby acknowledge that this undertaking will also benefit the successors and assigns of ITB together with its related bodies corporate.
Signature of person giving the undertaking
Signature of Witness Name of Witness:
Annex VI Non-disclosure agreement NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT THIS AGREEMENT is made on 200.