About the patent teaching kit

Why patents are important

Protecting original ideas and inventions has become essential in today's knowledge-based economy. Large corporations, small businesses and start-ups use patents to ensure their ideas cannot be copied and to defend their competitive edge. Universities too are making increasing use of the patent system to safeguard and commercially exploit their research results and to facilitate technology transfers to industry partners.

Anything from 15 to 25 % of all research efforts are in vain because (unbeknown to the developers) the invention has already been patented. Raising awareness of patents and providing information on how to search for existing patents can prevent this from happening.

An awareness of patents, how they work and how they can benefit companies and research institutions is vial for employees in a wide range of industries. Today's students are the engineers, researchers, lawyers, politicians and managers of tomorrow, and it is important they embark on their careers with at least basic knowledge of the patent system.

What is the patent teaching kit?

The patent teaching kit has been created by the European Patent Academy - the education and training arm of the European Patent Office - to help promote awareness of patents among students.

Designed for use by university lecturers, it contains everything you need to provide students with a comprehensive introduction to the patent system, including information on how to file patent applications and search for existing patents.

Whether or not you have previous experience of patents, the kit's ready-made teaching materials will enable you to prepare and deliver a core lecture lasting between one and two hours, as well as three additional sub-modules if required.

Who is it for?

The kit has been designed for students of any subject, but will be of particular interest to those studying natural sciences, engineering, law, medicine or business administration. The material assumes no prior knowledge of the subject on the part of either students or teachers.

What does it contain?

The patent teaching kit contains PowerPoint presentations, teachers' notes, background information and real-world examples and case studies.

It is made up of two core modules:

■ an introduction for students of science, engineering, medicine and business administration, including information on intellectual property rights, basic facts about patents, the essentials of filing for a patent, help deciding whether or not to patent, and a guide to using patents as a source of information.
■ an introduction for law students, including information on intellectual property rights, patentability requirements, issues of ownership, disclosure requirements, infringement and litigation and commercialising patents.
and three sub-modules:

■ searching for existing patents - how to use the Espacenet database
■ understanding patent claims
■ the use of patents by a university spin-off

Downloads and ordering