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The early identification and protection of intellectual property generated by the people working at CERN is essential to promote the idea that the Organization is a Centre of Excellence for Technology. In addition to its scientific reputation in High Energy Physics, CERN must seek larger public recognition. Means such as the promotion and transfer of technologies to industry and to domains of high importance for society such as medicine and energy are used to reach this goal. Published patents, copyrights, licenses and trademark are the widely accepted means of communicating technical innovation to industry and society. As stated in CERN/FC/4126 the reasons for CERN to pursue such a very proactive policy include:
“to ensure that CERN’s technical work and expertise are available to industry in its Member States, as far as is consistent with its scientific mission,
to make sure that the interest and usefulness of CERN’s technological work is widely understood,
to attract the best industrial partners, suppliers and individual collaborators,
to keep CERN at the forefront of relevant technologies.”
In addition, the identification and recognition of intellectual property is essential for the assessment of the contributions of individuals to the scientific program of the Organization.
After an introduction on intellectual property and property rights, the overall patenting process will be addressed starting from the identification and assessment of in house technologies, covering the licensing mechanism and strategy, concluding with the exploitation of the revenues generated by such a process.
Other mechanisms such as collaboration agreements resulting from the joint exploitation of intellectual property with other research institutes and with industry will also be addressed and placed in the context of the overall technology transfer strategy.