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How can I protect my research?


Intellectually protecting your research outcomes constitutes a milestone that allows for establishing clear-cut rules and incentives for transferring and distributing your study outcomes.

There are several ways to protect your inventions. Generally speaking, an idea is not subject to intellectual property, but you can protect the materialization or realization of an idea.

You can use several mechanisms to protect a creation such as patents, trademarks, vegetal varieties, etc., but in the end, it really depends on what your creation is, and these are merely a few examples.

Four Common Myths about Patents

1. If I patent, I cannot publish.

This is one of the most common myths among researchers. Patenting and publishing are two perfectly compatible actions. The order in which you must proceed is key! One of the fundamental conditions that must meet in order for a patent to be successful is the novelty factor, which is why you must always submit your patent request before publishing. Once your request has been submitted, you will be free to publish your results wherever you chose.

2. Patents are only for commercial purposes.

Using patents to protect our intellectual property constitutes a strategy that will make it easier for you to transfer your technology because it allows you to set clear rules governing how innovations are mass produced and commercialized.

When appropriate, UC will encourage economic retribution for transferring a patent but there are other circumstances under which it is possible to draw up a transfer agreement at no cost with non-profits, such as state or government agencies that commit to implementing the innovation for the benefit of society.

An example of this would be inventions with an enormous social impact such as a vaccine or a new education methodology. In these cases, the patent actually becomes an instrument that regulates how the invention can be used to ensure that it is used according to what it was designed for and under the right conditions.

3. UC does not share the intellectual property

According to our regulations, UC will share the intellectual property of a study’s outcome with stakeholders involved in its development, whether they are think tanks, private research centers or other universities, as long as the contribution is in keeping with the nature of the invention. UC’s policy dictates that study outcomes are the intellectual property of whoever carries out the study. Accordingly, in the case of projects conducted jointly with other organizations, the intellectual property is shared.

4. Inventors do not receive any economic retribution.

When a patent is licensed to a third party—who profits from its commercial use or sale—university regulations clearly stipulate that royalties equal to 50% of all revenue, shall be awarded to the inventor(s) as recognition. The respective academic unit receives 30% of the royalties, while the university receives the remaining 20%.
The UC Tech Transfer Office supports scholars by devising intellectual property strategies that pave the way for research outcomes to reach the market and society. We look forward to receiving UC researchers who are interested in using their academic work for social or economic effect.


Bárbara Ribbeck
Deputy Director of Intellectual Property
Tel: +56 2 2354 2685