An Introduction to Intellectual Property Rights in an Academic Context


This course aims to enable the participants to get a broad overview of intellectual property rights and discuss how they can be used to support and impact academic research. The course also aims to introduce the role intellectual property rights play in the utilisation of life science research. The purpose of the course is to spread general awareness about intellectual property rights to academic researchers by mixing discussions with hands-on search exercises.

Aims and objectives

After completion of the course, the participant shall be able to:

  • demonstrate a basic understanding of how patent information can be used in a research context
  • reflect on the value of using patent information in a research context
  • identify intellectual assets in research projects
  • perform a search for patent documents and assess their relevance in relation to the purpose of the search


Intellectual property rights are the legal rights that protect the results of intellectual work. The right to patent is one of the most well-known rights; it protects inventions that are novel, non-obvious, and have an industrial use. The focus of the course is to discuss various aspects of intellectual property rights that are essential to know for a future career both within and outside academia. During the course, the participants will be able to learn from various stakeholders within the intellectual property rights industry.

Topics include:

  • your right to intellectual assets as a researcher in Sweden (teachers’ exception)
  • how you can manage intellectual property rights in research collaborations, including other jurisdictions than Sweden
  • how publishing your research results can affect your legal possibilities to protect your results
  • how you can identify research groups to collaborate with using patent information
  • ethical considerations of patenting in relation to open science / access / innovation.

Teaching and learning activities

The course will be built on five seminars, each three hours long, over the course of one week. The seminars will be followed by workshops that will introduce tools and databases that can be used to identify and evaluate intellectual property rights. The workshops will be based on the participants’ own research projects.

Attendance is mandatory for all participants. The course director assesses if and, in that case, how absence can be compensated.


The participants are examined individually on a written report.

Recommended readings

Inventor’s handbook, European Patent Office


2024-03-18 - 2024-03-22

Course type



18th of March at 13:00-17:00
19-22d of March at 09:00-12:00

Sessions will take place at Karolinska Institutet.



Taught At

Karolinska Institutet


PhD students and candidates from all universities and disciplines are welcome to apply.

The selection of participants will be based on the relevance of the course for the applicant’s doctoral project and the date for registration as a doctoral student (priority given to earlier registration date).

The course is designed for a maximum of 10 students, and we reserve the right to admit students on a rolling basis.

Application deadline is February 18th.

The course fee will be waived for all admitted students.