Principles for the Protection of Intellectual Property (IP)

Thanks to its technology transfer, Empa makes a significant contribution towards Switzerland as a strong, sustainable commercial and research hub. It achieves this by offering the research results generated at Empa to industrial partners for commercial usage, guaranteeing Empa’s long-term research and publication freedom as a public institution, and striving for an overall economic benefit as large as possible.

For research results generated within the scope of a joint project with Empa, the following principles apply:

Use of project results by the industrial partner

  • Non-exclusive right of use in the partner’s field of application
  • Option to negotiate an exclusive right of use in a specified field of application

Ownership of project results

  • Project results owned by the generating party
  • Co-ownership for jointly generated project results

Protection of project results

  • Industrial partner may take the lead in filing jointly owned results for protection, supported by Empa

Fair compensation

  • For an exclusive right of use by the industrial partner
  • For an commercial right of use of Empa’s pre-existing intellectual property


  • Right of Empa to publish project results while respecting confidentiality obligations
  • Delay of publication if required for a patent application

Freedom to operate

  • Right of the project partners to use unprotected project results independently of one another
  • Right the project partners to use all protected project results for research and teaching purposes
  • “Freedom to operate” for future collaborations

In individual cases, the project partners may agree on deviations from these principles, taking into account the mutual interests and specific circumstances.

Marlen Müller

Marlen Müller
Leiterin WTT / Legal

Téléphone: +41 58 765 4197