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Innovation stimulation through increased knowledge of patents

Increased integration of patent knowledge in engineering and scientific university education (INPAT) is a special support project, currently being carried out in Germany, which aims to improve students' knowledge of the patent system. This knowledge is important, both in relat...
Increased integration of patent knowledge in engineering and scientific university education (INPAT) is a special support project, currently being carried out in Germany, which aims to improve students' knowledge of the patent system. This knowledge is important, both in relation to protection, and for the information which may be found in patent databases.

Patents are a key indicator of innovative energy from inventor activity and research projects and function as a link to the marketing of results. In transferring ideas to marketable products, knowledge of trade legislation and information from the patent system are of increasing importance in optimizing these processes.

The INPAT project is run by the Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft Köln, one of the National Awareness Partners for the INFO2000 programme, which aims to stimulate the use of multimedia content and the development of a multimedia content industry in Europe, and the Verein Deutscher Ingenieure(VDI), the association of electrical engineers, which is a partner in one of the German Innovation Relay Centres.

INPAT will run for three years from 1 April 1996, and provides universities and polytechnics with funding to introduce compulsory courses on trade legislation and for training a researcher in using patent databases. This support, for which all science and engineering departments in German universities and polytechnics may apply, aims to give engineering and science students an optimal preparation in this important area for their future work in business and science.
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