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Intellectual property rights in brief – for researchers

Do you have questions about how to take control of your research results? On this page, you can find information about what support is available to you when it comes to intellectual property rights (IPR).

What are intellectual property rights?

IPR is the collective term for the legal rights that apply when it comes to protecting your intellectual property and intangible assets, i.e. the results of your research. This could apply to models, processes, new materials, tools or newfound knowledge, to give just a few examples.

Main types of Intellectual Property Rights:

  • Patent: Protection for a new technical solution.
  • Trademark/brand protection: Protection for a recognisable, distinguishable identifier of a company, product or service.
  • Design registration/protection: Protects the design and appearance of a product.
  • Copyright: Protects e.g. music, video, and source code for computer programs.

Having control of your intellectual property rights, for example in applications or collaborations with other universities or companies is important for many reasons.

  • To make sure that you maintain the rights to continue with your research
  • To ensure that you maintain the rights to create impact from your research, through for example commercialization or licencing.
  • To maintain control when you share your research results with others.

Professor’s Privilege

Sweden has an exemption for academic staff known as the ‘Professor’s Privilege’. This means that researchers own the IP rights to their research results and any IP they create, unless otherwise agreed.

Research agreements

Sometimes you need a research agreement between you and KTH. Research agreements exist to ensure that KTH complies with the rules and conditions of research projects in which you take part.

A research agreement also regulates ownership and the right of use of results and outcomes and enables further development of the result.

Further information

You can find more information in the the Policy for management of intellectual property  created at KTH and on the Legal Department’s pages .

What support can you get at KTH?

Research Support Office

From the very beginning, you should plan how your IPR should be managed before, during and after the research project. The Research Support Office (RSO) can help you in the application phase.

KTH Innovation

KTH Innovation helps you discover and develop the potential of your research results so that they can create impact for more people in society. KTH Innovation offers support when you want to commercialize your research. You can get help with contracts, patents, business coaching and much more. Don’t forget that you have to patent before you publish!

Who should I contact and when?

  • RSO /check with RSO/
    • Questions about applications
    • Business law
  • KTH Innovation
    • Patent applications and novelty searches
    • Contracts and agreements
    • When meeting an outside party
    • When initiating a collaboration with a company or international university
    • Questions on IPR and areas of application in research funding applications
    • When you want to create impact with your research

Further support and information about EU calls can be found on the European Commission’s website , which also has useful IP Guides to apply in contracts and Horizon 2020-projects .

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Belongs to: KTH Intranet
Last changed: Nov 15, 2023