2023-2024 / PHYS3132-1

Intellectual property and open innovation in materials science


10h Th, 5h Pr

Number of credits

 Master in chemistry (120 ECTS) (AMIS)2 crédits 
 Master in physics (120 ECTS) (AMIS)2 crédits 


Elodie Naveau

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

This course aims at encouraging students to understand Intellectual Property (IP) issues and to consider those in their work practice, may it be when occupying an R&D position in a Company, when performing research at University, or in a collaborative context. The course will include the following points:

  • The different IP rights (copyright, trademark, industrial design, patent, secret),
  • The principles of Open Innovation,
  • Management of IP in consortium agreements,
  • Use of the Technology Readiness Level (TRL),
  • The procedure for obtaining a patent (national, regional and international procedure), with a focus on the European Patent Convention,
  • The conditions for patentability,
  • The protection and use of Software,
  • Use of IP: license agreements, assignment, royalties,
  • Freedom to operate and infringement: examples related to start-up companies.
The course will also include exercises such as a search in patent databases, the reading and analysis of a patent, the analysis of patentability of an invention, the reading of a collaboration agreement.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

To understand what is Intellectual Property, to be able to define a strategy for the protection of research results, to perform a search in a patent database and analyse the information thereform, to identify and describe a patentable invention. The students will also be able to understand the issues of IP in the context of Open Innovation and how IP can be managed in a consortia with two or more partners.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

No specific knowledge of intellectual property is required. However, a general background in materials science facilitates the contextualization of the course.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course is given in the form of seminars, with invited experts in specific fields. Sessions with exercises are also included.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face or hybrid or remotely according to the color code

Recommended or required readings

Notes will be distributed to participants.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

oral exam

Additional information:

Oral examination with open questions on the course content.



Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


Elodie Naveau (04/349 8517) elodie.naveau@uliege.be

Association of one or more MOOCs

Items online

Guide for the researcher on knowledge transfer and IP
This is an interactive PDF document showing the global knowledge transfer process. Each important step is associated to a 2-page explanation, given the details needed for the researchers in its every activity. The step "Protection of results" is particularly relevant for this course.