Intellectual property rights include copyright, patent rights, rights in a trademark, utility model rights, design copyright, rights to a commercial name, protection of integrated circuits and layout designs, and plant variety rights.
All intellectual property rights are granted for a limited period of time. An important distinction between copyright and so-called industrial rights is that the latter require registration, whereas copyright does not.
Each individual organisation, whether a university, research institute or business company, will have its own way of dealing with IPR issues and its own IPR guidelines.
Information on Finnish IPR legislation is available through the Finlex service.
What you need to do when you move to another organisation
When you move to work with another organisation, check in advance what intellectual property rights you may have created in your previous job and who has ownership of those rights, you or your former employer. This applies equally whether you are moving from one organisation to another, moving abroad, or returning to your home country.
User rights to existing IPR need to be agreed upon either with you or with the institution you are coming from depending on who is the right holder.
Points to remember
- Terms of earlier publishing contracts (e.g. journal articles or books)
- What rights has the publisher or host organisation retained?
- Do you have the right to republish your own texts elsewhere?
- N.B. you can always re-publish the same ideas in a different article or book
- Agreements with present team or employer on future publications. Always agree on publishing methods and the division of any income before the project gets underway.
- Can articles be published in Open Access journals or under a Creative Commons licence.
- To what extent can you freely cite and exploit other people’s literary work or extracted data.
- If you have a patent or have contributed to a patent, find out who holds the right to make decisions concerning the patent: you alone, your earlier research team, a university or a company who has acquired the rights through a contract or by law or other rules.
- Do not reveal your invention before you have filed a patent application.
- Patent registration procedures vary from country to country.
- Before you submit a research plan, remember that any research may produce new inventions that have commercial potential. Every research plan by a team should include a description of the mutual rights and obligations of the parties involved.
- What patented technology will you be using in your work: who signs the licensing agreements, who is responsible for any infringements?
- Possible restrictions due to a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) concerning your earlier work
- N.B. outside NDAs researchers and scientists may freely exercise their professional skills
- Any rights you have assigned in part or in full to another institution or person(s)