Protecting and Commercializing Inventions
Institut Pasteur is one of the largest health research institution in France, with a traditionnal focus on infectious diseases. Within the scope of its tasks, many results are achieved which are also suitable for commercialization in the interest of the whole scientific community and for the public good at large. Today, half of our 109 research units interact directly with outside partners -both institutional and industrial- in different ways: research agreements, scientific expertise, consulting services… In addition, 75 of these research units have generated the patent portfolio that is now licensed to industry.
The Pasteurien Community was always conscious of the economic and social value of patents, and it is a tradition for us to capitalize on the knowledge which is created within our research community . However, if we are to stay competitive in the years ahead, we have to optimize the adequacy between this knowledge et the health market needs. In order to guide the Institut Pasteur researchers in this way, our objective is to emphasize the relationship -both from the quantitative and the qualitative angles- between the people dedicated to promote research and the researchers themselves. One of the possible ways to achieve that is to initiate the researchers to the process of protecting and commercializing the inventions they make.
In order to transfer these research discoveries and inventions to the industrial sector, the Business Development and Industrial Partnerships Department actively handles the various stages leading to the technology transfer :
From the Commercial and Scientific Assessment of the Research Results at Institut Pasteur...
Our technology managers work with the researchers to identify innovations, inventions and know-how with commercial potential. Then, we conduct thorough market investigation and evaluation to find suitable companies for the development and the commercialization of the technology.
... To the Intellectual Property Protection...
All novel product -including biological material - or innovative process with a potential industrial use must be protected BEFORE any oral or written disclosure. Intellectual Property is protected by mean of patents with respect to inventions, or by mean of copyright with respect to works of science, including softwares. A patent or a copyright grants to the applicant the right to exclude others from making, using or selling the claimed invention for a limited period of time. Of course, the timely protection of intellectual property is the foundation for commercialization of the technologies. In reference to know-how, it is only protected as long as it stays secret ; however, its existence can be testifyed through the deposit of "Soleau Envelopes" at INPI.
... All the way to the Negotiation of Agreements for Technology Transfer to Industry
Institut Pasteur's technologies and its research capabilities and expertise are marketed around the world : the Department of Industrial Relations pursues an agressive licensing program that leads to win-win agreements with industrial and institutional partners. We also work to identify industrial companies to sponsor research at Institut Pasteur through research contracts and industrial grants, leading again to the development of licensable technologies. Biological Material Transfer Agreements are also established between Institut Pasteur and industries. For all these agreements, the terms -including financial return to Institut Pasteur- are defined.
To get useful basic information about patenting, licensing, commercialization, and fund-raising processes, you can consult the MIT webpage called "Handbook for Inventors"