Law for Academic Innovators


Understanding how effective IP strategies, company structures, patent law and legal concepts help you make an impact

  • When: 14 to 16 May 2019
  • Where: Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Become your own legal expert

Managing the legal and commercial aspects of launching a new technology or service is a key part of making a successful impact with your innovative research. But whereas large commercial or industrial organisations have the production, distribution, marketing and legal operations in place to manage all the complexity, academic researchers very rarely do.

This course is designed to overcome this problem. It introduces doctoral candidates to the legal and economic challenges around innovation, with a particular focus on issues related to patents in Europe. You will explore the various strategies for managing intellectual property rights, as well as the company structures and licencing mechanisms that can be used to create value from your work.

You will gain the necessary skills and insight to handle legal issues that academic innovators typically face – and apply the legal concept and practice to your own area of study and experience. You’ll be able to make informed decisions when it comes to negotiating future research funding, understand how intellectual property rights and patents contribute to business goals, recognise different company structures – such as a limited liability company – and evaluate the chances of securing a patent for a your technical ideas.

What you learn

Once you complete the course you should have a general understanding of issues in the field of intellectual property strategy. Discussion topics for distance learning modules include:

  • An introduction to intellectual property and the basics of patents
  • Use of patent information and patent filing strategies
  • Copyright for articles and books; software (including open-source software); databases; and the internet.
  • Understanding and negotiating agreements related to research funding
  • Licences, grants, royalties, terminations and invalid patents; and trade secrets

Once at Uppsala, you will also attend lectures on:

  • European company law
  • Financial reporting and basic tax law concepts
  • You will also attend presentations from the UU Technology Transfer Office from academics and guest lecturers who have already patented and commercialised their research results.


How you learn

The course gives you the opportunity to analyse today’s intellectual property landscape using examples, actual cases and key reading materials.

During part 1 of the course you will be able to ask legal and business questions on a given issue and discuss prepared materials with your colleagues and course leaders in a series of interactive online seminars. Although certain questions can be quite straightforward, others will prompt different views and lively debate. You will need to spend between 1 and 2 days preparing for each seminar.

During Part 2, in Uppsala, the concepts discussed during the online seminars are complemented by lectures on key subjects, as well as testimonials from guest speakers, and a panel discussion on topics chosen by you. Here you will also have the opportunity to meet professionals from the intellectual property, innovation and technology transfer sectors, from InnoEnergy’s innovation support system and the UU Innovation team.

As part of the evaluation of the course, you will present your own paper on IP strategy for your own research area or an analysis of a particular topic covered in the course, such as Academic Publishing and Novelty in Patent Law or Determining Inventorship in Patent Law. Finally, you will put your litigation and negotiation skills into practice, by participating in a mock trial and representing either the claimant or the defendant, or acting as judge or mediator.

Course leaders

Your course is taught by the following academic experts and legal practitioners:

  • Bengt Domeij, professor of law, Uppsala University.
  • Stojan Arnerstål, associate professor of law, Uppsala University
  • Mats Nordenborg, lawyer, Swedish Patent Office
  • Ann-Sofie Åhlander, patent attorney, InnoEnergy
  • Johan Asker, lawyer, Uppsala University
  • Martin Holmberg, patent attorney, Kransell Wennborg law firm


Practical information

When to attend: You can attend the Law for Academic Innovators course at any time during your participation in the InnoEnergy PhD School.

Pre-course preparation: Each seminar requires 1-2 days of reading and preparation. The course leaders will provide you with an essential reading list in plenty of time. Candidates should also make sure they read the course book: Patent Strategy for Researchers and Research Managers by H Jackson Knight. You should read the 2013 or later edition.

 Post-course assignments: None.

ECTS credits: The Law for Academic Innovators course is worth five ECTS credits.