Intellectual Property

The University of Stuttgart IP Strategy

Intellectual property (IP) enjoys specific legal protections. The University of Stuttgart has made protecting the rights of all parties to the research process a strategic goal.

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart year in year out produce groundbreaking research results. Their discoveries, especially inventions, patents, and trademarks, can often be put to a variety of commercial uses. The University prefers to license them rather than sell them outright. We stand ready support your commercialization efforts by collaboratively developing technologies that we license to you into market-ready products.

An IP strategy to safeguard the interests of all parties

Research findings are intellectual property; fundamentally, they belong to those who produce them. The University of Stuttgart has set down in an IP strategy (german) how to manage this intellectual property.

The IP strategy is designed to safeguard the interest of all parties involved: researchers, the University itself and its cooperation partners. It makes knowledge and technology transfer possible without putting limits on academic freedom.

Overview of the IP Strategy

  1. Goals of the IP StrategyIn principle, research findings will be disseminated in a timely manner, especially in relevant professional journals or by registration of IP rights, so that the discoveries achieved are widely disseminated.

  2. Utilization of research results as the basis for further research and in teaching will be ensured.

  3. Research results that can be commercialized are to be protected by patent or trademark filings, for example, before being publicized. Until then, they are to be kept under wraps by internal nondisclosure.

  4. The economic value of research results is to be safeguarded by direct or indirect, self- or third-party commercialization at market rates.

  5. TTI Technology Transfer Initiative GmbH supports the spinning off of University-spawned startups that develop goods and services based on discoveries made at the University.

  6. Upgrades of existing cooperative arrangements between individual institutes and companies to long-term partnerships and alliances at the university level will be monitored continuously to reinforce existing research emphases and identify new research priorities.

Internal regulations apply for the realization of the IP Strategy. The regulations can be found in the additional elucidatons Realization of the IP Strategy (german).

Classifying research findings as intellectual property preserves the owner’s rights in intangible goods – for example, research outputs such as inventions, processes, copyrights (e.g. for computer programs), designs and the know-how related to them – whether or not they can be patented or trademarked. Fundamentally, the rights to intellectual property are vested in whoever produces it. If required legally or contractually, these rights may be conveyed to an employer or client on a case by case basis.

In support of unlocking the economic value inherent in intellectual property, specifically inventions, patents, and design patterns, the University of Stuttgart offers these possibilities:

  1. Licensing
    This is the preferred model, since it lets the University of Stuttgart retain ownership of the intellectual property. This makes it easier to accommodate the differing needs of individual cooperation partners.

  2. Sale (conveyance)
    This model may be used only in exceptional cases (e.g., with contract research) if justified by circumstances. To be kept in mind here is that it very much complicates continued research activities with third parties in a particular field.

  3. Startups/Spin-Offs
    These options are considered when entrepreneurs want to turn concepts spawned in the University of Stuttgart into products or services.



Ralf Kaun

Head of Department


Tobias K. Artzt

Manager Intellectual Property (inventions, trademark rights)

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