Intellectual property at PSI

The Paul Scherrer Institute uses the tools of Intellectual Property Protection in order 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 applied for annually, of which around 10 - 15 are priority applications. The PSI portfolio currently includes 68 patent families. A patent family generally includes a selection of applications and granted patents in several countries, which can all be traced back to the same original invention. The patent portfolio is currently being checked and aligned with the interests of the industry.

PSI patents are licensed or sold to industrial partners. Different compensation models are employed to suit the respective transfer situations.

Intellectual property in joint projects

In projects with industrial partners, which are backed by third party funding, PSI applies policies, which have become established in Switzerland for such projects. The rights to the results, including any intellectual property rights, belong to the creator of these results. The industrial partner receives an option for commercial exploitation of the results in his field of use. The science partners are compensated for these rights of use at applicable market conditions. An option for exclusivity in the field of use can be agreed at the start of the project and is subject to a fee. Science partners are free to exploit their results outside the field of application. The parties can arrange for the intellectual property rights to be applied for and managed by the industrial partner.

The same agreements basically apply to collaborative research projects without third party funding. Variances can be taken into account, if the industrial partner, for example, bears a considerable part or the complete financing of the activities and the material of PSI.

Industrial partners are assured of the use of any pre-existing intellectual property of PSI (Background) for exploitation of the results. These non-exclusive rights of use, which as a rule are subject to a fee, are agreed between the parties prior to commercial implementation.

The right of PSI to publication of the project results must not be impeded by the application for intellectual property rights. A delay in publication until successful application can be agreed within reasonable time frames. In terms of projects completely financed by the industrial partner, a waiver of publication can be negotiated.