Collaborating Projects

Intellectual Property in FP7

What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual Property refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce.

* What are Access Rights?

Access Rights means licenses and user rights in respect of knowledge and pre-existing know-how which arise in connection with the project. They can be granted free of charge, under preferential conditions, or under market conditions, according to the type of partner (SME contractors and RTD Performers) and to the use to which the knowledge will be put (to carry out the project or for its exploitation). "The granting of Access Rights is subject to the conclusion of specific agreements aimed at ensuring that they are used only for the intended purpose and appropriate confidentiality agreements."

* What is Background?

Pre-existing know how is now referred to as Background. In FP6 all background and side ground were included as IPR that parties to the Consortium Agreement had access to. In FP7 the side ground is eliminated and Parties can use a positive list approach if some of the side ground IPR is needed to perform a specific function 

* What is Foreground?

Knowledge is now referred to as Foreground.  This is all knowledge that is to be generated during the duration of the Consortium Agreement.

* What is Sideground?

This is information developed parallel to the project not part of the Background.

* What is a Default Joint Ownership Regime?

If partners do not have a joint ownership regime the EC has introduced a default joint ownership regime where the joint owners can grant a non exclusive license to third parties without any rights to sublicense subject to prior notice and fair and reasonable compensation to the joint owners.

* What are the new dimensions to Use & Dissemination?

Publication is now included within the dissemination activity, therefore gaining coherence. Participants are obliged to notify other participants before any dissemination activity. Objection is possible if they consider that their legitimate interests in relation to their foreground or background could be affected. There is a lot of room for the regulation of procedures in the consortium agreement.

* How have Access Rights been simplified?

The question of exclusion of background is dealt with in a simple way, leaving participants to "define the background needed" for the purpose of the project, and "where appropriate, exclude specific background".

Intellectual Property Helpdesk:free of charge helpdesk on Intellectual Property Rights related issues in EU-funded projects