Patenting and technology transfer

A.A. 2023/2024
Crediti massimi
Ore totali
AGR/01 IUS/01 IUS/04
Obiettivi formativi
This course aims to prepare the students to undertake their future career in the ambit of innovation-oriented industrial enterprises, operating in highly competitive and challenging markets. Furthermore, the course will give the students a good knowledge of the patent system, in Italy and abroad, to enable them to make proper decisions in the Innovation Process (IP).
Risultati apprendimento attesi
At the end of this class, the students are expected to:
- know the patent system from the point of view of the user, so as to learn when it is advisable to patent, when to enforce a patent and what can be expected form a patent.
- understand the general dynamics of the Innovation Process, with particular reference to the nature and roles of the subjects involved in the process, and to the main methods that can be exploited to create value on a socio-economic level, with particular reference to the business model.
Programma e organizzazione didattica

Edizione unica

Primo semestre

1. Knowing patents
What is a patent and what purpose patenting has
Patent discipline worldwide (National patents, EPO, WIPO etc.)
The life and death of a patent: patent application, evaluation procedure and patent's death.
Structure of a patent
Patentability requirements: inventive step, industrial usefulness, novelty
The patent writing and submission procedure
2. Using patents
Patent search
Why reading a patent?
What to look for? (Patent validity, claims, examples, authors, owners etc)
Understanding a patent's history and current status (Is it an application? Is it being pursued? Is it dead or alive?)
Using patents to define patentability of an idea and/or FTO, freedom to operate

3. Technology Transfer
Research vs. Innovation
What is Technology Transfer (TT) and how it works
Key steps (and paperwork) in TT
TT at works: How to evaluate the business potential of an idea and write it down
Business Lab (practical exercise)
The course is held in English, therefore fluency in speaking and agile understanding are necessary.
The course puts an extremely strong stress on interactive learning: please note that it is compulsory to attend at least 75% of the lectures.
Important note for students for courses OTHER THAN Molecular Biotechnology and Bioinformatics: we will accept a maximum of 10 external students, on a "first come first serve" basis. PLEASE OBSERVE: students from programs other than MB&B must sign register to the course by emailing the teacher. The deadline for this procedure is Septmber 10th.
Metodi didattici
The course will be delivered by a balanced mixture of traditional lectures and innovative, interactive teaching methods. The non traditional teaching methods will be used to enhance experiential learning and the student's participation. In addition, practicing experiential learning will allow the students to sharpen some generic and transferrable skills such as organization of the work in time and in group, explanation and presentation of selected topics both to a specialized and to a general audience, giving and receiving feedback. Given the circumstances, experimental learning will be adopted to practice these skills in the online environment, which will be more and more the one professionals will be called to work in.
The following methods will be applied:
1. Flipped Classroom
The class will be divided in "N" groups of three students, with N depending on the number of participants. Group pairs will be formed randomly. One selected topic, e.g. "Structure of a patent" will be assigned to a group pair, with the goal of preparing a 45' lecture on the topic, to be delivered to the entire class. The 2 groups will test the lecture with the teacher and deliver it to the class. The audience, including the teacher and the class, will evaluate the quality of each lecture and give the presenters a 6-8 points feedback, equally divided among positive/praise and suggestions for improvements. The teacher will grade each group.

2. Group Work Challenge A
The class will be divided in "N" groups of three students, with N depending on the number of participants. Group pairs will be formed randomly. The groups will be given the task of preparing a business plan. Before starting, the groups will be asked to prepare a 15-lines "group contract", clarifying the role and responsibilities of each group member during the following work for the task. Once the document will be ready, groups will exchange it and evaluated each other's results, preparing a 6-8 points feedback statement, as above. Furthermore, each group will have to present its business plan to the class and the class will be asked to award the best one.

3. Group Work Challenge B
The class will be divided in "N" groups of three students, with N depending on the number of participants. Group pairs will be formed randomly. The teacher will hold an exercise session with 4-6 selected types of exercise (e.g. verify if a patent is still alive or not, define FTO of an idea etc. ). After the session, serving as example, the groups will be given the task of inventing and solving an exercise, making sure data are complete and clear. Groups will then exchange exercises and, after having solved them, solutions.
In addition to traditional and experimental lectures, seminars and lectures by "special guests" from the sector of business accelerators and biotechnology companies are planned. Following the seminars, a one-hour session will be devoted to consolidating the main message of the seminar. The consolidation will be carried out by randomly choosing a group among those formed for the above exercises, which will have to prepare a short presentation of 2 slides for the class. The presentation must contain a summary, graphic or textual, of the main message (or messages) of the seminar and a feedback on 6 points of its quality. The 6 points must be divided into two groups of 3: the first 3 on the three best features of the seminar, the other 3 on features that could be improved.
Modalità di verifica dell’apprendimento e criteri di valutazione
- 60% from the result of a written test with 8 open questions.
- 20% from the evaluation of the "Flipped Classroom" exercise
- 20% from the evaluation of the group work challenge exercise.
Esercitazioni: 32 ore
Lectures: 32 ore