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Patents and Inventions (IP)

Our IP experts guide and support you so that the value of your idea is not only acknowledged but also protected, in the best way possible.

Your idea can be an invention, a new software, a new mathematical model, a new publication, a stable plant, a new solution for a problem or a new problem itself, a simulation, data generated, a design or even a cartoon.

Good to know: We work in close collaboration with the IP experts at the University of Cologne.

This way you get the best advice from professionals with many years of experience in this field.

Licensing matters

What is Technology Transfer/ IP Transfer?

Click here to find out.

Invention and Patents

The transfer department (Abt-75) of the University of Cologne takes care of inventions, patenting and licensing processes as well as providing services around intellectual property (IP) evaluation, contract drafting and access to external services (e.g. Provendis).

Start-up Ideas

From the first idea to a new start-up - our managers for IP transfer at the University of Cologne have an interface role between Gateway and UoC transfer department. Together with the start-up coaches we support you on your journey to found your own start-up.

Our IP services for you - We support you:


With assessing whether your results and ideas contain intellectual property of the UoC or third parties


In clarifying legal questions related to intellectual property


In drafting essential contracts and agreements relevant for your start-up (e.g. licensing contracts, confidentiality agreements)


For negotiation of the conditions to access UoC IP


In matters concerning trademarks, designs, software, copyrights and know-how

From the first Idea to final utilization: we determine and develop the potential of your research results together with you and support you with the administrative side of the patenting and licensing process.

Did you know that...

prior art as a legal expression in international patent law does encompass also the content of comics? A patent application directed to a sunken boat to be filled with little gas-filled balls was rejected as this idea was disclosed to the public already by Donald Duck and his nephews Tick, Trick and Truck (Tick, Trick and Track in German) in the comic “The sunken yacht” using ping pong balls.

Talk to us before you publish, present or pitch!

Any kind of pre-publication/ disclosure anywhere in the world might damage the novelty of your invention/ creation, e.g. an open and public access to a bachelor, a master, or a PhD thesis, even a book hidden in the corner of a remote library, an exposition of a poster on a conference or a paper stored on an open access server.

Therefore, it is the best to consult the colleagues in Abt-75 at the University of Cologne before you publish or announce your results. This way, you will not lose the novelty of your invention/creation, which is one of the major necessities for IP (Intellectual Property) protection.

… Shuji Nakamura, one of the Nobel prize winners in physics 2014, received originally only 20.000 Yen (~140 EUR) as inventors gratification from his company for developing the blue LED.

In 2002 he sued his former company to get an appropriate remuneration. The District Court of Tokyo awarded him 20 Billion Yen (~150 Mio. EUR) which was later reduced to 840 Million Yen (~6 Mio. EUR) by the Higher District Court of Tokyo in a settlement. This is still the highest inventors remuneration awarded in Japan until today.

Are you an employee at the University of Cologne? Talk to us when you have an idea!

Due to the German Inventors Act, employees of the university are entitled to inventor’s remuneration of thirty percent of related university revenue when the invention is patented and then used for commercial purposes. Therefore, talk to Abt-75 when you have an idea!

… the iconic logo of Nike, the Nike swoosh, was designed by a student, Caroylin Davidson, in 1971 for the price of 35 $ only!

But in 1983, after Nike gained success, Nike’s CEO awarded her a diamond ring in swoosh form as well as shares.

Talk to us before you discuss or sign any contract!

Please feel free to contact us upfront of any discussion related to an agreement so that we are able to help you with the necessary support. Either by drafting the agreement, giving advice with internal or external resources or negotiating your goals.

Get in touch

Pinar Öktem, M.Sc.

Project Management IP-Transfer

Björn Schulz

Project Management IP-Transfer