Intellectual property at PSI
The Paul Scherrer Institute uses the tools for the protection of intellectual property to make the results of its research interesting for commercial exploitation by its industrial partners. Herein priority is given to patents, which protect the inventions of the scientists, and hence safeguard the investments of PSI, but also of the industrial partner in terms of subsequent commercialisation.
Approximately 40 new patent applications are filed each year, of which approximately 10 - 15 are priority applications. The PSI portfolio currently comprises more than 100 patent families. A patent family generally includes a selection of applications and granted patents in several countries, all of which originate from the same original invention. The patent portfolio is continuously reviewed and aligned with the interests of the industry.
PSI's intellectual property is licensed to industrial partners while it is important for PSI to retain its freedom of research. Different compensation models adapted to the respective situations are used.
Intellectual property in joint projects
In projects with industrial partners receiving public funding, PSI applies the rules that have been established in Switzerland for such projects (see Innosuisse, Eurostars, Nano-Argovia, Aargau Research Fund). The rights to the results, including any intellectual property rights, belong to the creator of these results. The industrial partner receives a non-exclusive right for the commercial exploitation of the results in its field of application. A royalty-based option for exclusivity in the precisely defined field of application can be negotiated at the start of the project. The scientific partners are free to exploit their results outside the field of application. The parties may agree that the intellectual property application and management will be carried out by the industrial partner.
The same agreements apply in principle to collaborative projects without public fundings. Deviations can be regulated if the industrial partner bears a substantial part or the complete financing of the activities, the infrastructure use and the material resources of PSI.
The use of PSI's existing intellectual property (background) is assured to the industrial partner to the extent necessary for the exploitation of the results. These non-exclusive rights of use, which are generally subject to a fee, are agreed between the parties prior to commercial implementation.
The right of PSI to publish the project results must not be prevented by the application for intellectual property rights. A delay of publications until the registration has taken place can be agreed within reasonable time frames. In projects financed entirely by the industry partner, a waiver of publication may be negotiated.