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Introduction to patents and intellectual property protection: Research, transfer and entrepreneurship courses



¿The UOC offers four research, transfer and entrepreneurship courses in english, for students, researchers and faculty to promote research in the academic, scientific and business fields 

This course is a general overview to Intellectual Property Rights protection and their use by PhD students. Intellectual Property Rights are here understood in their wider sense, including royalties and copyright, patents and utility models, brands and design rights, as well as commercial secrets. 

It is part of the PhD courses of the Generalitat of Catalunya, in which the university offers courses to reinforce transversal competences of business interest. This training will count for any PhD student who is enrolled in a PhD programme in a public or private university.. 

The research, transfer and entrepreneurship courses are recognized as university activities and thus count as free elective credits for bachelors degree courses. They also count towards training for competitive grants for doctoral students at any university¿

  • Credits 2 ECTS
  • Length 50 hours
  • Date 22 February 2017
  • Certificate Introduction to patents and intellectual property protection
  • Language English


Objectives and competencies


The main aims of this syllabus are:

  • Understand the figure of royalties as protection of original intellectual creations in general (literary, artistic, scientific, results of I + D + i), and the software in particular.
  • Understand to what extent the results of I + D + i can be protected under the legal figures of the industrial property, in particular patents and utility models, and in a more tangential way, brands.
  • Analyse licenses of results and gain knowledge of the main legal rules (laws, regulations, etc.) which are applied to licenses (software, in particular).
  • Gain knowledge of the uses, restrictions and prohibitions occurring normally in a transference license and the exploitation of a 'proprietary' type.
  • Gain knowledge of software licenses and free contents which are more widely used, and understand their particularities (GPL, CreativeCommons, etc.). Reflect (and defend, if proceeds) the 'copyleft' as a system of development, protection and distribution of the results and as incentive to innovation.
  • Develop tools of analysis and orientation for real cases in the professional life.


  • Overview of the legal framework of legal protection and exploitation of the R+D results.
  • Identify the R+D+I results which are liable to legal protection and to distinguish between 'intellectual' and 'industrial' results.
  • Protect the R+D+I results, both under the figure of intellectual property (royalties/copyright) and under the figures of industrial property (patents, models, designs and brands), together with their reach and limitations.
  • Acknowledge the own royalties, as well as the rights of other parts involved in the R+D+I: the university, the company, and other collaborators.
  • Manage the most relevant legal aspects within an R+D+I project.
  • Draw up and negotiate the most important elements of the transference contract or exploitation license of the R+D results.
  • Decide between exploitation through open licenses / open access or a more proprietary model.



The course is constituted by audio-visual material which will cover the syllabus of the module. The student must visualize the lectures and work on associated potential practical cases. The student will have a virtual classroom where a consultant expert in entrepreneurship will orientate to guarantee the learning process. Once visualized each chapter the student will be encouraged to ask questions and discuss with other classmates the topics which have been covered in the material. The student will carry out activities of continuous assessment about a product to be protected (of the interest of the student or invented in case of lack of necessity). The student will also participate in debates which will be co-participated and guided by the consultant.

The course will be taught in English.

Related programs

This course is part of the Research, transference and entrepreneurship courses (Cursos de Investigación, transferencia y emprendimiento) which are offered by the PhD School (Escuela de Doctorado) for researchers in the academic and corporate fields and for PhD students. This course is also related to modules of the Free Software MSc.



  • Identification of intellectual/industrial results.
  • General presentation of the legal framework of intellectual property: royalties.
  • General presentation of the legal framework of the figures of industrial property: patents, models, designs, brands.
  • Concepts of co-authorship and co-ownership, university and corporate ownership.
  • Open Access: its benefits and obligations.
  • The transfer of technology, proprietary and free licenses of exploitation.
  • Management of IPR within an R+D+I project.


Background knowledge

Background knowledge is not required. However, an adequate level of English to follow lectures and to interact with the rest of students is a must.


Teaching staff

Malcolm Bain


Fees and enrolment

Methods of payment

You can pay for Research, transfer and entrepreneurship courses with a credit or debit card.

  1. VPoS: payment using a credit or debit card via the VPoS (virtual point of sale) provided by «la Caixa».

Enrolment withdrawal



Price of this course  224,86 €

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