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IP Law in Science


Aim of the course:

Intellectual Property or IP; what does it mean and why would a scientist even bother to spend his or her time understanding these legal concepts? As Intellectual property rights were, by and large, created to protect the fruits of the intellectual efforts of scientists, inventors and artists. they are increasingly important in today’s ‘knowledge economy’. Universities, and the scientists within them, are increasingly confronted with intellectual property rights.

IP is not just for companies or entrepreneurs. Scientists are required to work with companies to obtain funding and to help put their results to good use. IP rights play an important role in this process. A better understanding of the needs and wishes helps scientists to form better and stronger partnerships with scientific colleagues from industry and the companies themselves. Facilitating the success of a company can therefore be a helpful asset to a scientist, whether active in the private or the public sector.

Understanding how this framework affects both the science and the companies in the business of creating high-tech and innovative solutions for today’s problems, is therefore very useful. Given the increasing demands placed by society on companies and universities to innovate and improve life and society at large, IP rights have become synonymous with successful innovation. But Intellectual property rights also play a key role in today’s scientific community. A better understanding of the (im)possibilities of intellectual property in science is therefore an asset.

During this course you will become familiar with the basics of European IP law. The most common types of IP law (including requirements to obtain the right) will be discussed. You will look in depth at the process by which patents are granted. However, also software protection (including open source) works and the related issues will be discussed. Given the nature of IP Rights, the role IP plays in high-tech companies are given a prominent place. Including the type of conflicts which may occur and the way in which they are resolved.


Dr. M. Westerik


Students of Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences, Life Science & Technology, Chemistry and PhD students


Lectures, literature review, discussions and group assignment.


Will be announced during the course.


Participation in discussion groups, presentation, and exam.


Minimum of 15 students; maximum of 30 students


The course will be taught from Mid-September to December 2015. Check the schedule on the Blackboard page of Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Please note that the first part of the course will be taught at Delft University of Applied Sciences and the second part at Leiden University.


Application via uSis.