How do universities use their intellectual property

Free University of Berlin

Knowledge and technology transfer (KTT) in the sense of the term refers to exchange processes between university and external parties with the primary goal of transferring knowledge and technologies into economic or practical applications. In addition to research and teaching, the transfer of knowledge and technology is one of the tasks of universities:

"The universities promote the transfer of knowledge and technology." (Section 2 (7) of the University Framework Act)

"They [the universities] promote the transfer of knowledge between their institutions and all areas of society and work to ensure that the scientific knowledge gained can be further developed and used in the interests of society." (Section 4 (5) sentence 2 of the Berlin University Act)

The exploitation of inventions and other forms of intellectual property is a possible and important form of knowledge and technology transfer. As the employer of the employees at the university - and thus usually also the owner of commercially exploitable intellectual property - the Freie Universität Berlin has a duty of care with regard to the Protection and exploitation of this intellectual property. The present strategy for the exploitation of intellectual property of the Freie Universität Berlin serves as a basis so that the university can fulfill this important function and the realization of the objectives contained therein in the long term and in compliance with the given framework conditions as well as possible and fulfill its associated legal mandates.


Objectives of the Free University of Berlin:

  • Preservation of freedom of research and exploitation for the benefit of society
  • Securing legal rights to intellectual property
  • Demonstration of research strength and support for the acquisition of third-party funds
  • Supporting the employability of young scientists
  • Generating income
  • Promotion of business start-ups

On August 8, 2016, the Presidium of Freie Universität Berlin decided to adopt the following guidelines on the protection and exploitation of intellectual property: