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Proposal & Project

Rules on Intellectual Property (IPR) in FP 7

As far as the protection of IPR and its exploitation is concerned, the Commission kept its principles of simplification and continuity.

New definitions

The Rules for Participation will distinguish between the results, including information, whether or not they can be protected, which are generated by the indirect action concerned (foreground) and information, which is held by participants prior to their accession to the Grant Agreement, as well as copyrights or other intellectual property rights pertaining to such information, the application for which has been filed before their accession to the Grant Agreement, and which is needed for carrying out the indirect action or for using the results of the indirect action (background). "Sideground", which is any information generated beside and outside of the project, is no longer concluded into "background".

Ownership and Joint ownership

Foreground arising from work carried out under indirect actions other than those referred to in paragraph 3 shall be the property of the participant carrying out the work generating that foreground. If employees or other personnel working for a participant are entitled to claim rights to foreground, the participant shall ensure that it is possible to exercise those rights in a manner compatible with its obligations under the grant agreement. Where several participants have jointly carried out work generating foreground and where their respective share of the work cannot be ascertained, they shall have joint ownership of such foreground. They shall establish an agreement regarding the allocation and terms of exercise of that joint ownership in accordance with the terms of the Grant Agreement. Where no joint ownership agreement has yet been concluded, each of the joint owners shall be entitled to grant non-exclusive licenses to third parties, without any right to sub-licence, subject to the following conditions:

  • (a) prior notice must be given to the other joint owners
  • (b) fair and reasonable compensation must be provided to the other joint owners

Upon request, the Commission shall give guidance on possible aspects to be included in the joint ownership agreement.
In the case of actions for the benefit of specific groups, these principles shall not apply. In such cases, foreground shall be jointly owned by the participants which are members of the specific group benefiting from the action, unless otherwise agreed by those participants. Where the owners of the "foreground" are not members of that group, they shall ensure that the group is provided with all the rights to that foreground required for the purposes of using and disseminating it in accordance with the technical annex to the grant agreement.