The world around us is full of new technical ideas that successfully transform our everyday life. But what is the role of patents in this landscape? What conditions does an invention have to meet to become a patent? Moreover, what is patent information and in which ways can you benefit from it? 

You will get the answers to all of these questions in this learning path.

In particular you will learn about...

  • the role and utility of patents in innovation and research and how to use patent documentation for a particular research project (course 1)
  • the strategical and practical relevance of patents and IP in general for research-driven businesses with the help of real-life case studies (course 2)
  • how you can benefit from patent information and how you can efficiently retrieve and monitor patent information by using EPO tools (course 3)

  • 1

    Think patents: the value of patent documentation for innovation and research

    This self-paced course offers an introduction on:

    • the importance of patents as source of scientific information at the forefront of a particular technological field
    • patentability requirements for inventions
    • the legal coverage offered by patents, the advantages they offer and the constraints they impose
    • patent document structure and how to identify the information you need
    • where and how to search for patent documents
    • different types of intellectual property rights and when to use them

  • In the previous course you became familiar with patent documents as a rich source of technological and legal information openly available to individual researchers, organisations, universities and corporations. In the next course you will discover the stories behind three scientific breakthroughs that led to successfully commercialized inventions that have transformed our everyday lives. These real-life examples illustrate the strategic and practical relevance of patents and IP in general for research‑driven businesses.

  • 2

    Use patents: cases from research results

    In this self‑paced course you will learn about:

    • fast low angle shot (FLASH) MRI, a revolutionary MRI method which speeded up image acquisition time, and the long and fierce litigation battle fought to commercialize the patent.
    • how inventor Carles Puente Baliarda revolutionised antenna design with the introduction of fractal-based antennae. The patenting of his inventions paved the way for the founding of Fractus, S.A.
    • baseclick, a thriving biotech company founded in 2008 and offering solutions based on their core technology, the "click reaction".

    Get insight into the starting points, challenges faced, commercialization journeys and business models used in these cases, as told by the inventors and founders themselves

  • In the previous course you discovered how important it is to be aware of the patent landscape in your technical area, not only to make well-informed decisions when filing a patent application, but also to avoid potential infringements when devising your commercialization strategy.

    In the next course you will look at a variety of tools that will help you to find your way around patent information products and services made publicly available by the EPO.

  • 3

    EPO Patent information tools

    This self-paced course consists of:

    • tutorials and  introductory resources relating to patent information in general and EPO tools for searching and reviewing patent information
    • recordings of  recent webinars on the latest developments, including (new) features, etc. of the different patent information tools provided by the EPO.