The University of Trento fosters applied research also in collaboration with industry and third parties.
To this end, it supports research results patenting and economic exploitation.
A patent is an exclusive territorial right granted for an invention in the country or region in which a patent has been filed and granted, in accordance with the law of that country or region.. The protection is granted for a limited period of 20 years.
Patent protection means that the invention cannot be commercially made, used, distributed or sold without the patent owner’s consent.
All patent owners are obliged to publicly disclose information on their invention; a patent owner has the exclusive right to decide who may – or may not – use the patented invention for the period in which the invention is protected. The patent owner may give permission to, or license, other parties to use the invention on mutually agreed terms.
The owner may also sell the right to the invention to someone else, who will then become the new owner of the patent.According to Italian patent law an invention must fulfill the following conditions to be protected by a patent: novelty, originality or inventive step, industrial applicability and lawfulness.
Property rights belong to the University researcher/professor, unless the research has been funded or co-funded by a third party.
In order to obtain an Italian patent protection the inventor needs to file a patent application (online system available) directly at the Italian Office for Patents and Brands (UIBM) or through local Chambers of Commerce. From 1 July 2008 the anteriority search is carried out by the European Patent Office (EPO).
Patents filing or extension abroad can be carried out at national level (i.e. filing it in each country the inventor is interested in) or applying for a unitary patent as stated by:
- European Patents Convention (EPC) : it establishes a uniform patenting system through which the applicant can designate as many contracting states as he wants; a granted European patent is protected under national law in each of the countries designated in the application.
- International patent or PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty): makes it possible to seek patent protection for an invention simultaneously in a large number of countries by filing a single “international” patent application; after the end of the PCT procedure the inventor starts the “national phase” pursuing the grant of his patents directly before the national (or regional) patent Offices of the countries in which you want to obtain them. Optionally, the inventor may also file demand for an international preliminary report on patentability (IPRP) evaluating the potential patentability of the invention. The document is not binding since the decision on the granting of a patent remains the responsibility of each of the national or regional Offices.