Intellectual Property, Patents & Licences
Where Does Isis Innovation Fit In?
Isis helps researchers in these areas:
- Identifying research output of potential commercial value
- Evaluating its commercial potential
- Protecting research output with IPR
- Marketing inventions
TThese activities form the foundation of successful technology transfer, which can be described as stimulating contact between the owners and potential users of IP. Successful technology transfer is a team activity and we expect researchers to participate in the promotion of their inventions. This can become a time consuming activity.
This involves encouraging researchers to consider the commercial applications of research at an early stage and also working to identify novel, inventive and protectable aspects of research.
Ownership Of Intellectual Property
It is essential always to have a clear understanding of who owns IP arising from research activities. Establishing ownership of IP arising within Oxford University is the responsibility of Research Services (contact the Director, Research Services, University Offices). This involves establishing the ‘trail’ from: invention, to inventor(s), to employer (normally), to funding body (where research contract terms dictate). The University will assign (or license) to Isis IP which it owns where Isis is the chosen means of exploiting that IP.
Technology transfer is a commercial activity and the money spent on patents is an investment from which a financial return is expected. Due to the early and complex nature of University research the return is likely to be long term and difficult to define. Nevertheless we need to establish clearly that a market (current or potential) exists before we spend money on patenting.
Building defensible walls around inventions and other research outputs is essential. It is a complex and hence expensive activity. Isis manages a portfolio of patent families and has pursued initial applications through to granted patents on a global basis. Isis pays for filing and prosecuting patent applications, design rights and trade marks, using a range of patent attorneys and lawyers expert in high technology fields.
Isis uses its specialist searching skills and leads from researchers to identify potential commercial partners; prepares and distributes non-confidential marketing information and follows up potential leads.
Negotiating and closing deals associated with licensing and spin-out activity for the development and exploitation of IP to optimise the overall benefit to the researchers, host Departments, the University and Isis. Resulting revenue is distributed according to University Statute (see Revenue Sharing).