ULB’s intellectual property policy applies to anyone carrying out research at the ULB, irrespective of their role. This means that students are also governed by ULB policy. However, students are not required to sign any document pertaining to ownership and the business development of any results that they may achieve, and it is the responsibility of the research supervisors to have students sign a document stating that they acknowledge the ULB’s policy and relinquish their rights as soon as they are called upon to participate in the research project.
Publications or press releases should not be made before the patent has been secured as they infringe on the condition of novelty that is required for patents. However, a patent has no effect on later publications. The procedure may be completed very quickly, even given that you are advised to allow the patents agent time to draft a solid text.
Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce (definition taken from World Intellectual Property Organisation).
There are two different kinds of intellectual property:
industrial property (patents, supplementary protection certificates, plant-variety rights, protection of integrated circuit layout designs, brands, designs, and models)
rights related to copyright (rights of performing artists in their performances, producers of phonograms in their recordings, and those of broadcasters in their radio and television programs)
As soon as an invention becomes the object of a patent application, you may present your invention at a conference or publish a scientific invention, etc. Nevertheless, it is imperative that these publications do not reveal more information that contained within the patent application. Indeed, while the patent application has not yet been published (18 months after submission of the patent application), great care should be taken and you should contact the TTO for informed advice.
As soon as you come in to contact with a businessperson with whom you may share sensitive or confidential information, you must have them sign a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA). This type of agreement stops the other party from appropriating your ideas, sharing them with their acquaintances, or otherwise using them without your consent. The non disclosure agreement may be unilateral (a single Party sharing information with the other), or bilateral (both Parties share information). If the businessperson refuses to sign a non disclosure agreement, it does not bode well for your relationship, and as a result, you should avoid divulging strategic information from your laboratory or research project. Contact the TTO for informed advice.
These samples, like all tangible research materials (chemical products, biological samples, vectors, cell lines, etc.) must entail a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA). The MTA outlines the rights and obligations of both the supplier and recipient of the transferred material and its derivatives. Contact the TTO for informed advice.
In an effort to disseminate and simultaneously protect the knowledge gained within its walls, the ULB has adopted a simple yet effective strategy for intellectual property of the its researchers’ inventions. The strategy covers rights over the findings of research carried out at the ULB, from the initial stage of the project (invention letters, patents, skill protection, and software, etc.), to the successful transfer to the market through licensing contracts granted to existing businesses, or through the creation of spin-offs.
Scientists are encouraged to contact the TTO as soon as they achieve marketable results, so that the ULB can provide them with adequate protection and assist them in reaching the market.
Aimed at researchers, the laboratory notebook is a simple tool to guaranty the traceability of their research results and to attest the date on which they were obtained.
The notebook represents the memory of the laboratory and allows to determine the inventorship in case of a patent application.
Get a laboratory notebook by contacting Delphine Stordeur :