closeclose
Who is governed by ULB’s intellectual property policy?
What if I am a student?

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.

close window
closeclose
Can patents act as an obstacle to publication?

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.

close window
closeclose
What is intellectual property?

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)

close window
closeclose
How can I monetize my intellectual property?

There are a variety of ways to monetize intellectual property; it can be licensed, transferred, or even used to obtain public or private funding for the development of patented technology.

close window
closeclose
What is a patent?

A patent is proof of intellectual property that grants the holder exclusive and temporary rights to use an invention.

close window
closeclose
What conditions are essential to deliver a patent?

To be eligible for a patent, an invention must meet three conditions:

  • 1. It must be new: this means that it must be as yet unknown, nor ever have been made public through any medium.

  • 2. It must be novel and non-obvious i.e. not something easily identifiable by a specialist in the field.

  • 3. It must be suitable for industrial reproduction: the patent must describe the invention in sufficient detail so as to allow it to be reproduced. This is especially useful in avoiding duplicate research once the patent application is published 18 months following submission.

close window
closeclose
Who is the inventor?

The inventor is the person without which the invention would not have been possible; who has made a significant contribution to the design of an essential component or the development thereof.

close window
closeclose
What is a licence?

A licence is a contract whereby the holder of the intellectual property rights authorises a third party to exercise this right in full or in part, usually in return for financial compensation, for a given period and within a given geographical area.

close window
closeclose
Once the patent has been submitted, can I present my invention at a conference?

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.

close window
closeclose
If I discuss a project with a businessperson, must I have them sign a non disclosure agreement?

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.

close window
closeclose
If I provide a businessperson with samples, should they sign an official document?

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.

close window
Technology Transfer - Université libre de Bruxelles
version françaiseversion françaisefirstfirstprevious pageprevious pagenext pagenext pageprintprintsendsendmarkmark

Intellectual property

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.

  • If the invention successfully reaches the market – for example, through an operating licence granted to an existing company or the creation of a spin-offfrom a ULB lab or technological breakthrough – then once the intellectual property protection fees incurred by the university have been covered, the income is divided into three equal shares: for the ULB, the lab(s), and the scientists involved in the project.

  • Copyright: the ULB has created an institutional repository (DI Fusion) to archive and publish the work carried out by its scientists online, making DI Fusion the ULB’s academic library.

  • Professional ethics: in order to protect the ULB’s scientific excellence and that of its researchers, the university has compiled an ethical code that reiterates the efforts made to combat scientific fraud, and has also formed an ethics advisory board that can process any complaints that may arise.

Ensure the tracking of your research results, use a laboratory notebook

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 :

  • At the price of 8 euros for ULB researchers by sending a green coupon (bon vert)

  • At the price of 15 euros for external persons by sending a purchase order

Reference documents:
  • For the ownership of results (including software and databases) in addition to work protected by copyright: pdf

  • For work protected by copyright: pdf and here

  • For ethical research:here