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The commercialisation of research findings and intellectual property

What is the commercialisation of research and development results?

It is a complete set of activities focused on applying research findings to practical purposes, in order to achieve tangible benefits in the marketplace.

What is subject to commercialisation?

The Law on Higher Education of July 20, 2018, defines the process of commercialising knowledge and distributing associated profits. These regulations apply to:

  • research findings which are: an invention, a utility model, an industrial design, an integrated circuit topography, or a cultivated or discovered variety of a plant;
  • development results generated by an employee of a public higher education institution through the execution of their duties resulting from their employment relationship, as well as
  • know-how related to these results.

Commercialisation can be achieved through direct and indirect methods.

The direct commercialisation is handled by the University, the indirect one – by the Special Purpose Vehicle, following a recommendation from the Intellectual Property Commission of Poznań University of Economics and Business.

Chapter 6 of the above mentioned Law: “Commercialisation of research and know-how”, states that:

  • higher education institutions can operate academic entrepreneurship incubators (with the purpose of fostering economic activity of employees, doctoral students and students)


  • centres for technology transfer (aimed at direct commercialisation, which consists in the sale of research results or the know-how related to them, or allowing for the use of these results or know-how, especially on the basis of a licence or a lease agreement).

The University can:

  • set up exclusively single-member capital companies – ‘special purpose vehicles’ – for indirect commercialisation,

involving the subscription or acquisition of shares in companies, or the subscription of warrants entitling the holder to subscribe or acquire shares in companies, with a view to the implementation or the preparation for the implementation of the results of scientific activities or know-how relating to those results. (art. 148)

  • Protective rights as an indicator effect of project implementation

    In compliance with the announcement No 11/2017 of the Rector of Poznań University of Economics and Business of 20 July 2017, concerning: the submission of applications in competitions/projects, the effect/indicative result of which is obtaining a patent or other protective rights, as well as the submission of applications for the protection of intellectual property involving the University, the prior consent of the Vice-Rector for Research and International Relations is required the case of:

    Filing applications in competitions/projects, the effect/indicative result of which is obtaining a patent or other protective rights,

    Filing any applications for the protection of intellectual property involving the University, regardless of

    the kind of research or project which brought about the result that is supposed to be protected.

    The request for the consent must:

    precisely specify what type of protective rights are to be obtained by the University, and what costs would be involved in each time period,

    be submitted to the Vice-Rector well in advance, with a period of at least 7 days before the application is submitted to the programme or competition and at least 30 days in the case of applications for intellectual property protection.

    The Vice-Rector’s approval may be subject to the creators/authors meeting certain conditions, e.g.:

    Specifying the future practical application of the results of the project which is to be protected (the outline of the strategy of the future use of the results),

    Partially covering the costs of the protective proceedings.

    In principle, PUEB will only allocate funds to the extent necessary for the first national application. Funding for broader protection will depend on reaching an agreement with the creators/authors to regulate the rights to the results and cover the costs of their protection.

  • Registering projects and their results


    In accordance with the current regulations for the management of copyright and related rights, industrial property rights and principles of commercialisation at Poznań University of Economics and Business as well as the rules for the use of the University’s research infrastructure”,

    1. to ensure the complete knowledge of projects conducted at the University, their findings and the know-how, an electronic register of projects and their results is maintained at PUEB;
    2. the obligation of entering the data into the register falls on:

    a University employee who, in the performance of their duties as an employee, has conducted research or development work. In the event that they fail to provide information on the results of the research or development work and on the know-how related to these results, such an obligation falls on:

    the head of the organisational unit in which the project is implemented;

    a project manager or a person supervising the project (research supervisor), if appointed;

    other persons, who are bound by the terms of these regulations, or by the Rector’s directives;

    doctoral students conducting projects at PUEB – in that case the obligation falls on the project leader, or, if such a leader has not been appointed, on the research supervisor, the tutor of the research association, or the students’ supervisor.

    1. The persons indicated above are also obliged to report changes to the data included in the project register.
    2. The physical objects on which the results are recorded become the property of the University when the results are accepted, or whenthe rights to the results are transferredto the University by other means.
    3. The results of the intellectual work, as defined in Section 2 of these Regulations, are considered a business secret because of the University’seconomic interests.

    The register of projects is maintained by the Research Office, Building A, room 129.

    Persons performing the functions listed in point 2 can log into the system at: “Login of a person from UEP”, using the required data.

    The project register
  • Patent application at PUEB

    I. When starting a project, it needs to be recorded in the electronic project register (in accordance with the Rectors Regulation No 29/2017 of 5 May 2018):,

    II. When a result is obtained, it must be entered into the electronic project register, in accordance with the Rector’s Regulation No 29/2017 of 5 May 2018. The date of the creation of the result in the electronic project register is regarded as the day the employee discloses information on the R&D results and their corresponding know-how to the University;

    III.   The applicant is obliged to provide the Research Office with the confidential documents required by the Intellectual Property Commission PUEB, as well as the opinion of their own unit’s head, in accordance with the Rector’s Regulation No 33/2018 of 19 June 2018.

    IV. Within 14 days of entering the result into the electronic project register, the employee can submit a declaration expressing theirinterest in transferring the rights to the result (the declaration form is available for download in the electronic project register).

    The strictly required documents include:

    1. The opinion of the applicant’s unit head
    2. If the result is co-created:
      1. an agreement specifying ownership rights between the co-authors (if the co-author is from outside PUEB)
      2. a joint declaration from the UEP employees who are the co-authors, specifying their respective contributions to the work in percentages = submitting a compilation of the authors in the order in which they are to be included in bibliographic data databases worldwide, including their complete names, home addresses, and affiliations.
      3. a description of the invention, as outlined in the “Procedure for submitting a patent application with the Patent Office”*, presented in simple terms for the PUEB Intellectual Property Committee to understand the fundamental concept of the invention
      4. declarations**:
        1. of consent to the processing of personal data, unless such a declaration has already been made;
        2. stating that the intellectual property rights are not being violated according to the law;
        3. concerning the patentability of the invention

    * “Procedure for submitting a patent application with the Patent Office” includes:

    1. The title;
    2. The relevant technology (the invention concerns…);
    3. The state of technology (a device is known…);
    4. The technological problem (the current device/solution/process  has the disadvantage that… – the presentation of the current state of knowledge and the existing solutions + indicating what technological problem has been solved, what improvements have been made, what is the nature of the proposed solution, what defect has been eliminated and how it has been done/ which technological solutions/parameters/parts etc. are involved and what function they perform…)
    5. The solution (unexpectedly the above mentioned problem has been solved by means of this invention, owing to….)
    6. Disclosing the essence of the invention (“proper description” – i.e. how the invention reported at PUEB works – the patent attorney helps to formulate this part);
    7. An example of the implementation of the invention (a more detailed description of the invention at PUEB);
    8. Patent claims (the part of the solution to be protected by the patent, e.g. “a device for…, characterised by… [here the specific features of the invention are listed]” – the patent attorney helps to formulate this part);
    9. Drawings of the invention (if necessary);
    10. Abstract of the description (made by the patent attorney).
    11. The inventor prepares concise material that covers points 7 and 9 (if drawings are needed), possibly later also 3, 4 and 5 – according to their understanding of the subject matter. On the basis of this material, the patent attorney’s office can propose claims and thus, by successive approximations, we jointly arrive at a version that can be filed at the patent office.

    ** Declaration forms are available in the electronic project register

    V. The University authorities decide whether or not the reported result will be commercialised within 90 days from the date the University has been notified, taking into account the 14-day period available to the employee-author to submit a statement regarding the transfer of rights to the result, based on:

    a) the recommendation of the Intellectual Property Commission PUEB, reliant on:

    • the documentation provided by the author/co-authors (the strictly required documents);
    • the preliminary opinion of the patent attorney from the Patent Office, working for PUEB;
    • the detailed opinion of an expert (e.g. Chairman of the PUEB Knowledge Transfer Company) – if it has been decided to invite the expert to the meeting.

    VI. The author/co-authors will be informed about the PUEB authorities’ decision in the written form.

    VII.  If the UEP Authorities decide to submit an application to the Patent Office, the further procedure will follow the guidelines outlined in the PUEB Rector’s Regulation No. 33/2018 of 19 June 2018.

  • Commercialisation

    Intellectual property

    The term ‘intellectual property law’, i.e. law on intangible property, covers elements of the various branches of law that govern the use of the so-called intellectual property.

    The scope of protection of individual intellectual property rights in Poland varies, depending on the nature of these rights:

    • copyright protects works from the moment they are created, without the need to register them.
      A work is protected by law from the moment it is established (even if it is in an unfinished form), i.e. from the moment that other people can become familiar with the work. persons besides the author can become acquainted with the work. The possibility can just be hypothetical.
    • objects of industrial property – objects of exclusive rights specified in the Industrial Property Law Act, protected by a patent, protection right, right of registration or filed with the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland in order to obtain exclusive rights (e.g. patents, utility models, topographies of integrated circuits).
      The scope of this protection is limited to the territory of the Republic of Poland. In order to extend protection to other countries, applications must be submitted to the patent offices of those countries where the rights will be granted.

    In Poland, the basic legal acts that regulate intellectual property rights are:

    • Copyright and Related Rights Law
    • Law on Protection of Databases
    • Law on Industrial Property Protection
    • Law on Fighting Unfair Competition

The Commission’s obligations

The Commission’s obligations are specified in the current Regulations for Managing Copyrights, Related Rights, and Industrial Property Rights, as well as the principles of commercialisation at Poznań University of Economics and Business and the protocols for utilising the University’s infrastructure.

In the light of the above mentioned Regulations, the Commission’s duties include:

  • the preparation of the result commercialisation process and the related know-how;
  • providing an opinion on the permissibility of publishing the result and related know-how, or disclosing them through other means;
  • expressing an opinion on the advisability of legal protection for an industrial property asset the rights to which belong to the EUP,
    Or of its commercialisation;
  • settlement of disputes;
  • developing or commissioning the development of a commercialisation plan for the result, including in particular a study of the commercialisation potential, an analysis of the target market, a valuation of the result and the possibility of obtaining and maintaining legal protection;
  • recommending an investor interested in the commercialisation of the result;
  • negotiating the form and the detailed terms of the commercialisation. At the Commission’s request, the Rector or the relevant Vice-Rector can authorise a member of the Commission to conduct these negotiations. In justified circumstances, the Rector can authorise a PUEB employee who is not a Commission member, or another person, to conduct these negotiations;
  • requesting the Rector to apply to the University Senate for permission to make a legal transaction concerning the disposal of intellectual property rights to the results, insofar as they are components of fixed assets classified as intangible and legal assets, tangible fixed assets or long-term investments, including handing over these components for use to other entities on the basis of civil law contracts or their contribution to a company or a cooperative, if the market value of the subject of disposal exceeds the PLN equivalent of €250,000;
  • adoption of a resolution containing a draft commercialisation agreement or its substantial terms;
  • recommending to the Rector or the authorised Vice-Rector the conclusion of a commercialisation agreement.


  • At any time the Commission is entitled to request the University’s employees, cooperators of the University and other persons involved in projects carried out with the participation of the University to provide information on the project, the commercial project and the results obtained or expected.
  • When taking part in Commission duties and reaching decisions, its members must remain unbiased, avoid any conflicts and prioritise the University’s best interest.

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