Flexible IPR Approach For European Joint Innovation Projects 07/09/2014 by Magda Voltolini for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Applicants to the European “Innovation Communities” initiative have until 10 September to submit joint innovation proposals in the areas of healthy aging and raw materials. The aim is to create new organisations compliant with the European grant programme Horizon 2020, which will operate under flexible intellectual property rights’ policies in collaborative innovation projects. Knowledge Innovation Communities (KICs)are independent organisations formed by partnerships linking business, higher education and research centres across Europe in multidisciplinary fields. KICs are bound to the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) mission, which encourages European sustainable growth and competitiveness. The first three KICs were established in 2010. They are EIT ICT Labs, KIC InnoEnergy and Climate-KIC. The EIT partly funds KIC activities in compliance with the rules regulating Horizon 2020 – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) that supports world-class science, industrial leadership and societal challenges through the investment of approximately €80 billion in research and innovation. Rules for Participation KIC applicants are required to submit a business model and a financial plan for the operation of collaborative projects, including rules for the management of intellectual property rights appropriate to the sector and compliant with European rules. Additionally, the financial plan should show sources of revenue for financing a KIC, including royalties from IP rights. As regards rules expressly governing IP rights of KICs, EIT is allowed to set specific provisions for IP policies in compliance with the Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation. For instance, its Article 55(6) states: In the case of the Knowledge and Innovation Communities of the EIT, the grant agreement may lay down specific provisions, in particular on ownership, access rights, exploitation and dissemination. “The EIT approach as regards IP is to build on the flexibility the EIT has on the basis of article 55 of the H2020 Rules for Participation, an EIT officer told Intellectual Property Watch. “Therefore, the EIT motivates the KICs to exploit their freedom in this field, encouraging them to establish the KIC-specific IP policies best fitting their respective sectors.” It was added that “the EIT applies an EIT-specific Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA) and a corresponding Specific Agreement template adjusted to the EIT KIC environment. These agreements are largely based on the Horizon 2020 standard templates compliant with the H2020 Regulations. The EIT applies these templates across the KICs.” Flexible IP Approach for KICs Existing KICs follow specific IP policy rules according to a 2012 European Parliament Report and a 2013 European Commission Study. However, according to the 2012 report, KICs’ information regarding intellectual property policies provided to the general public is “somewhat limited”. Comparably, the 2013 study finds that it is difficult to define and detail IP rights policies of KICs “because of the work in progress” and the “lack of experience of how regulations work in practice.” Against this background, these papers address IP policies of each KIC. KIC InnoEnergy projects are for-profit and bound to “well-established rules and operations.” IP rights protect innovative technology for energy processes, and partners agree that the KIC InnoEnergy is entitled to receive a 10 percent royalty fee of all IP foreground generated in projects. By contrast, Climate-KIC and EIT ICT labs are set up as non-profit organisations and follow less strict IP policy rules. Climate-KIC activities focus on innovation in the climate technology sector in synergy with a European network of global and regional partners. Its IP policy is decided on a case-by-case basis following an open innovation approach and “certain main guidelines” defined in the Partner Grant Agreement. As to EIT ICT labs, undertakings aim at positioning Europe as a global leader in ICT innovation and its IP policy in general follows the “seven principles for joint R&D and innovation projects.” On funded, or co-funded projects, IP results belong to the partners who worked on R&D activity to create them. Participants in the same project have access to IP results under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) or royalty-free terms. IP background activity is available under FRAND terms. Magda Voltolini is an independent writer based in Paris. She holds an LLM in Intellectual Property Law from the University of Edinburgh, and a Law degree from Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. Image Credits: Flickr – MPD01605 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Magda Voltolini may be reached at email@example.com."Flexible IPR Approach For European Joint Innovation Projects" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.