Collaborating with a third party? An IXA-lawyer can help.

Setting up a research consortium, entering into a collaboration with a company or starting a spin-off: all these valorisation activities of researchers have legal consequences. Researchers can ask the IXA lawyers all their questions. Klaas de Vries, working with IXA office UvA-HvA since a few months, is the first point of contact for researchers.
Many researchers believe that legal help is only needed for scientists engaged in the development of eg. patentable equipment, but that is not true. Klaas de Vries: "Once you start working with other parties, legal issues arise like non-disclosure, intellectual ownership of the acquired knowledge (researcher or the company he/she is collaborating with), conflict between the scientific principle of knowledge sharing and open access, and how to solve that problem? These are the types of issues the IXA lawyers deal with."

Contracts & Disputes

There are many examples of advice and support of projects by IXA. The lawyers concerned themselves with the commercialisation of knowledge for the development of a device predicting sleep phases. The IXA lawyers also managed a dispute between the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG) of UvA and a publishing house which republished training methods that had been developed by scientists within FMG without permission. In addition, they were involved in drafting the contract for lending brain equipment to Harvard University.

Open access versus commercialization

De Vries noted that scientists often get cold feet when it comes to valorisation. "Valorisation is not only practical use of knowledge, but also dissemination; how do you bring your research results in a proper way into the limelight? All researchers benefit from that. "But the natural tendency of researchers to share their knowledge and make it available through open access,  can sometimes be conflicting with commercialisation. "As soon as the newly developed knowledge" is out in the open", companies will no longer be inclined to do business with you for a newly developed product or service - after all, anyone has access to that knowledge."
Therefore the advice of De Vries is: "IXA has professional business developers on staff who can actively help in selecting good partners. For the legal side of the matter it is good to involve us at the earliest possible stage."

Click here for more information about legal advice from IXA.