Intellectual Property


USI greatly values the intellectual property developed within the internal R&D activities and protects it by means of patent applications and copyrights on computer programs. This is key in order to saveguard the investment in the research activities, both from the academic side and from a subsequent perspective of commercialization.

As a general rule intellectual property is licensed in order for the academic partners to maximise exploitation and to retain freedom of research.

IP for our scientists


Patent protection process

What is an invention?

An invention is a technical solution to a technical problem. In order to be eligible for patent protection an invention needs to be new, inventive and industrially applicable compared to the prior art.

Can I publish my research results if I am considering applying for a patent?

The main condition for patentability is the novelty of the invention. Prior disclosure (publication, poster, etc.) will jeopardize the possibility to get a patent. Filing for a patent application, before publication of the research results, is the only way to protect the novelty of the invention. It is important to note that patent applications and publications are not mutually exclusive, one simply needs to file a patent application on the invention before disclosing it. After the patent application has been filed, publication can take place as usual.

What is a patent?

A patent is the right to exclude others from exploiting an invention, which can be a product, a process, or a new use, offering a new technical solution to a technical problem. To get a patent granted, technical information about the invention must be disclosed to the public in a patent application, the patent application will remain confidential for the first 18 months after patent filing, afterwards it will become publicly available.

Patents have temporal and geographical limitations; the patent has legal validity in the countries where it has been granted, and it has a maximum validity of 20 years from the first date of deposit.

For more information on intellectual property protection and valorization, please consult our Policy on Technology and Knowledge Transfer.