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If you have made an invention or come up with an innovation, it needs to be protected before you can go public with it.

Knowledge is automatically copyrighted. By obtaining a patent, you actively protect your knowledge. It ensures that you can safely share the details of your finding. By sharing the knowledge, you enable society to profit from the finding.

Applying for a patent

Patenting knowledge and findings requires insight and is a time-consuming process. This is why IXA UvA will assist you in the patenting process, while the costs of the application and maintaining a patent are paid from the UvA Patent Fund.

When you make a potentially patentable invention, you must report it to your manager or supervisor and then to IXA UvA. You subsequently need to discuss the invention with IXA UvA to determine whether it is patentable. In addition, you will be discussing possible applications of the finding and the exploitation options.

At least until the patent application is submitted, secrecy is essential in obtaining a patent, including when the UvA has made arrangements on the use of the knowledge with a third party. It also means that you need to postpone the publication of the knowledge until the patent has been granted.

Your finding is now protected by a patent. So what's next?

Protecting knowledge is not a goal in itself. It is a means of exploiting knowledge and innovations outside of the university and the academic world. You can do so by licensing a patent to an external party or a UvA spin-off. This means that the relevant party is granted permission to use the knowledge for commercial activities in return for royalties. The brochure Partnering successfully with a company will provide you with additional information on public-private collaboration.

Information on how you can start your own spin-off as a UvA researcher, and who you will be dealing, with can be found in the brochure From researcher to entrepreneur.

The Invention Scheme

If your knowledge is exploited after being patented, any potential revenue must be divided between the inventor and the faculty. An allocation key applies, which is also referred to as the Invention Scheme. In brief, this scheme stipulates that, after deduction of the patent costs, the inventor, the faculty and the university are each entitled to one third of the revenues of the invention. More information on this can be found in the Summary UvA Regulations Governing Knowledge Utilisation 2018.

Knowledge and findings are intellectual property of the UvA

UvA employees whose findings are protected with a patent will be listed in the patent as the 'inventor'. The patent itself will be registered in the UvA's name. This is because the employee developed the underlying knowledge at the UvA. This has been laid down in the CAO NU and the Dutch Patents Act (Rijksoctrooiwet, in Dutch).

IXA: the knowledge transfer office at the UvA and for the UvA

In addition to helping you with the patenting process, the experts at IXA will support you also in applying for research grants, making and recording agreements on the use of research results, drawing up collaboration agreements and other agreements, starting spin-offs or otherwise marketing knowledge.

You can find an overview of the services, facilities and activities at