WHY NOT YOU?
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY (AND WHY YOU SHOULD CARE)
Scientists often assume that the only value of their work comes from their findings - but in doing so, they risk overlooking the value of the new methods, tools or technologies that were specially created to help them answer their project objectives.
There are numerous examples around of such secondary outputs from science leading to huge impact, so we like to encourage scientists to think about all intellectual output from their work.
If you are an early-career researcher, Intellectual Property may seem a confusing and daunting world at first, but Why Not You is here to help!
What is IP?
The World Intellectual Property Organisation defines IP as ‘creations of the mind’.
In academic research, the most important IP tends to evolve around the information, techniques, know-how, inventions, discoveries, algorithms, software or materials generated by scientists.
These are resources which they apply to several activities and have in many cases developed over years of work.
How might it affect me?
UKRI and other public funding agencies in the UK tend to grant academic organisations the rights to the IP derived from publicly-financed research.
They also encourage academics to develop routes to impact for their IP. In addition to direct knowledge exchange with end-users, impact can be achieved through more commercial routes such as licensing, co-development with existing businesses, commercialisation through new businesses (spin-outs or start-ups) or exploitation of IP through scientific services.
Want to learn more?
The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys and the UK Intellectual Property Office both provide information about intellectual property.