Intellectual property

Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the human mind that benefit from the legal protection of a property right. The main legal mechanisms for protecting IP are patents, trademarks and copyrights, covering a variety of creations, from literary and artistic works, symbols, names and images, to inventions and trade secrets.

In the University context, IP can be considered as the outcome of research projects, collaborations and other activities.

NOVA recently revised its Intellectual Property Policy. For information on how NOVA’s IP Policy daily operates and clarification of procedures and responsibilities associated with the management of IP at the University, please consult below NOVA’s IP Policy and the Guide to Intellectual Property and Knowledge Transfer.

Useful Documents

Disclose & Protect your IP

Have you discovered or created something that you believe could be commercialized? If so, you should contact us, so we can help you to define the best protection and value creation strategy. 

Reporting an invention is vital to the protection of a valuable intellectual asset. With proper safeguarding, the invention can be developed to its fullest capacity. If this step is not taken, it is unlikely that the invention will be commercialized so that it can provide its maximum benefit to society. 

The University specialized services will work with you to define the best route for protection and commercialization of the knowledge or technologies generated at NOVA. 

If you are a member of staff, researcher or a student of NOVA, you can tell us confidentially about your commercial idea by selecting the link below. If you would prefer initially to have an informal chat, please email us to request a meeting or phone call. If you are affiliated to FCT NOVA or ITQB you can contact directly their TTO’s: 

  Disclosure Forms

Invention Disclosure Form

Copyright/Software Disclosure Form

Following submission to the NOVA Impact Office (or to IRIS or the Innovation Unit, if you are affiliated to FCT NOVA or ITQB, respectively), we will be in touch to discuss next steps. 

In case of inventions, NOVA will work with the inventors to evaluate the invention (patentability, commercial potential, industrial partners, etc) and elaborate appropriate strategies for licensing on a case-by-case basis. 

On the basis of this assessment, a decision is taken on: 

  • The filling or not of a patent application 
  • The commercialization strategy of the invention 

The decision process may take up to 75 days.


Intellectual Property Policy

The creation and dissemination of knowledge is at the heart of every university activity. The challenge is realizing how this knowledge can best be utilized as an asset that can provide the maximum value to the economy, society and the university itself. Beyond the potential to generate income, NOVA has the responsibility to protect its rights in the best way that it can and to ensure that society can benefit from the funding that is given to the University.

NOVA revised its IP Policy in 2020 based on principles of transparency, equity, sustainability and efficiency to carry out the corresponding knowledge transfer process.

NOVA’s IP is a formally-adopted document which:

  • Clarifies the ownership of and right to use the IP resulting from NOVA’s own or collaborative R&D activities;
  • Defines the rules on how to accurately identify, evaluate, protect and manage IP for its further valorization, usually through some form of commercialization; and
  • Provides a transparent framework for cooperation with other entities and provides guidelines on the sharing of economic benefits arising from the IP commercialization.

This document regulates the ownership and use of IP rights, which is very important both to NOVA stakeholders (professors, researchers, students, visiting researchers, etc.) and commercial partners to provide clear guidance on how to deal with issues concerning IP.

In principle, the Regulation applies to NOVA faculty, researchers, students, employees/staff and research fellows, and to research visitors or other individuals collaborating with NOVA, its Organic Units and associated Research Units, using significant NOVA resources (funds, infrastructures, equipment, lab materials, etc.). Get to know more here.

Useful Links

Patent Databases

Trademark Search