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Patents  All available patents of the University of Milan

The purpose of this section is to present the patents held by the University of Milan that reflect its multidisciplinary nature and which have accordingly been classified in four macro-categories:

The classification criteria is based on the main field of use of the technology, which is usually, but not necessarily, reflected in the area from which it originated.

In particular, inventions with applications in research, treatments, prevention and diagnosis of human pathologies are classified under “Health”; technologies regarding innovative production processes, new catalysers and new materials of industrial interest are classified under “Industry” and inventions with applications in the agro-food and veterinary sectors are classified under “Nature”.

Finally, purely biotechnological inventions, i.e. those requiring the use of molecular or cellular systems, or requiring the use of living organisms or their derivatives, are classified under “Biotechnology”. Patents regarding measurement methods that have potential applications in very different sectors, together with the only bioinformatics patent in the portfolio are also included in this category.

The fields of use that offer the largest number of application possibilities are highlighted within each macro-category. These may vary in number or be very distant from the initial research areas. 

It is useful to remember that intellectual property protection through patents only regards a part of the transferable results of economic interest for the University of Milan.

This is due both to the diverse nature of the activities carried out and the results obtained - which are not patentable in some cases - and to the low patenting rates of single researchers. The positive trend of the past few years and the coverage of increasingly wider disciplinary areas suggest that patenting might become more routine, alongside the “traditional” bibliometric productivity of university researchers.

Patent Portfolio Data

Since the date of the first patent application held by the University of Milan in 1992, 138 priority applications have been filed (September 2008), of which 35% were abandoned while less than 50% of the active patents do not have international extension.

Protected inventions have originate over 250 patent applications to date and the states where patents are usually nationalised are Europe, the USA, Japan and Canada.

The strategy behind IP exploitation within the University of Milan has developed over the years. Today, the Patent Committee runs ad hoc assessments of the technology exploitation potential and level of readiness, so as to choose the most suitable patenting strategy, while Unimi supports inventors in the decision making process, sharing risks and costs, offering know-how that is not usually possessed by research teams during the application process and especially in the future stages of patenting, from maintenance to transferring.

The University of Milan holds, or has held, exclusive ownership of 66% of patents in the portfolio, with the remaining 34% co-owned with other entities and institutions. The recent cases of co-ownership with foreign universities and research institutions are especially worthy of mention. 

44% of inventions in the portfolio are classified under the macro-category of “Health”, thus confirming this specialisation of the University of Milan, while 26% are classified under “Industry” and 13% under “Biotechnology”. Especially worthy of note is the “Nature” category, which rapidly reached 17% of the portfolio and is constantly increasing.

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