Use and dissemination
The submission of final reports is not the end of the obligations of a consortium. There is an obligation to use and disseminate the results of the project.
Participants in projects, as well as the Community will use the knowledge which they own and which has arisen from direct or indirect actions or they will assure the use of this knowledge, by third parties, in accordance with the interests of the participants concerned. The participants shall set out the terms for use of the knowledge in a detailed and verifiable manner, in accordance with the rules for participation and the contract.
If dissemination of the knowledge does not adversely affect its protection
or its use, the participants shall ensure that it is disseminated
within a period laid down by the Community. In the event that the
participants fail to fulfil relevant obligations the Commission
itself will undertake to disseminate the knowledge. Particular account
shall be taken of the following:
- The need to safeguard intellectual property rights
- The advantages to be derived from the swift dissemination of knowledge, in order to avoid duplication of research efforts and in order to create synergies between indirect actions
- The principle of confidentiality
- The legitimate interests of the participants
Rules on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
Ownership of knowledge
As a rule, ownership resides with the contractor generating knowledge (with the exception of the specific SME actions).
Where several participants have jointly carried out work generating the knowledge and where their respective share of the work cannot be ascertained, they shall have joint ownership of such knowledge.
Transfer of ownership: In case of transfer of ownership and as long as the participant is required to grant access rights, it shall give prior notice to the Commission and the other participants in the same indirect action of the envisaged assignment and the assignee. The Commission or other participants in the indirect action may object within 30 days of notification to such a transfer of ownership
Protection of knowledge
Where knowledge is capable of commercial or industrial application and subject to legitimate interests, it is a requirement for its owner to provide for its adequate and effective protection
Where there is no protection, the Commission may protect knowledge. In particular where the Commission considers it necessary to protect knowledge in a particular country, and where such protection has not been applied for or has been waived, the Commission may, with the agreement of the participant concerned, adopt protective measures.
A participant may publish or allow the publication, on whatever medium, of data concerning knowledge it owns or knowledge obtained during work in connection with cooperative or collective research projects, provided that this does not affect the protection of that knowledge. The Commission and the other participants in the same indirect action shall be given prior written notice of any planned publication. They may object to the publication within a period of 30 days from receipt of the data envisaged to be published, if they consider that the protection of their knowledge would be adversely affected by this publication.
Access rights shall be granted on written request. Access rights for use of another's results will be granted only when necessary (not by right).
Obligatory access rights between contractors are limited to what they really need (either for carrying out the project or for using their own knowledge) but broader access rights may be freely negotiated
Access rights to third parties : Participants may conclude agreements with the purpose, in particular, of granting additional or more favourable access rights, including access to third parties in particular to enterprises associated with participants. The Commission may object to any grant of access rights to third parties, in particular to those not established in a Member State or an Associated State, if such a grant is not in accordance with the interests of developing the competitiveness of the European economy, or is inconsistent with ethical principles
Access rights shall confer no entitlement to grant sub-licences unless it is explicitly agreed.
A participant may explicitly exclude specific pre-existing know-how from the obligation to grant access rights to the others (with the written agreement of all participants and before the participant concerned signs the contract or before a new participant joins the project)
Access rights for use of knowledge: Participants in the same project shall enjoy access rights to knowledge and to the pre-existing know-how, if that knowledge or pre-existing know-how is needed to use their own knowledge. Access rights to knowledge shall be granted on a royalty-free basis, unless otherwise agreed before signing the contract. Access rights to pre-existing know-how shall be granted under fair and non discriminatory conditions to be agreed