The Role of Intellectual Property in the Commercialization of Research

    After any research is conducted, researchers often seek to have the results of this research used for industrial or corporate processes or in the creation of new products or services. To facilitate such an outcome, they often seek the commercialization of their research.

    The commercialization of results of research provides advantages in both the social and economic spheres because it helps to supply concepts for desired goods and services while also generating revenue and creating jobs. Therefore, it is in the best interest of many for research to be commercialized; this can be done through the use of intellectual property which will safeguard the research and allow these positive outcomes to be reached.

    How Intellectual Property Relates to the Commercialization of Research

    It is typically in the authorities’ best interests to promote the commercialization of research. This is because research serves to fuel the development and growth of every aspect of life in a country. Therefore, intellectual property authorities provide researchers with avenues to legally protect the results of their research.

    The forms of intellectual property which are most commonly related to research are copyrights, patents, and industrial designs. All research works which result from educational processes and procedures can be copyrighted. If any research results in the invention of a product, that product can be patented. Such a product may also have specific functional and aesthetic qualities which can be protected by an industrial design. Once they receive intellectual property protection, research works and associated products can be more effectively commercialized.

    How Protected Research Generates Revenue

    Once research has been legally protected, it can then begin to generate revenue after it has been commercialized. This process begins when a research organization obtains an associated copyright or patent. In many cases, this form of intellectual property protection will attract the interest of one or more investors. Investors will then supply the organization with the money it needs to turn the results of the research into a product or service ready for mass-market commercialization.

    Once the product or service in question reaches the mass market, its chances of generating much revenue greatly increase. It should also be noted that certain fields of research have more potential for commercialization than do others. Such fields tend to make use of application-oriented research, while research in fields with less potential for commercialization is usually categorized as fundamental research. 

    The Importance of Intellectual Property Protection for Research

    Intellectual property protection for research is necessary because it prevents the results of research from being unjustly exploited by anyone else. This protection ensures that the research will be commercialized in an approved manner in line with the intellectual property laws of the relevant jurisdiction.

    Many research organizations and institutions of higher education employ intellectual property experts for the specific purpose of research protection. They work with researchers and staff members to review disclosures of inventions to be patented, identify results which may qualify for intellectual property protection, and manage the organization’s intellectual property portfolio. In many cases, they also conduct market analyses and identify potential business partners in order for commercialization to take place.

    Research Organizations, Intellectual Property, and Commercialization of Research

    Before any research results can undergo the process of commercialization, the associated organization must usually obtain approval from the researchers. Intellectual property authorities within the organization must verify that the commercial use of intellectual property will be of benefit to the public before allowing the commercialization of that research. The organization may also require agreements to be made between the researcher and one or more third parties such as an intellectual property firm to prevent any conflict of interest prior to commercialization.

    If a research organization obtains any additional revenue as the result of commercialization of any research, the organization will usually channel a substantial amount of this revenue towards the researcher who is responsible for it. This is done to inspire fellow researchers in the organization to work towards innovation and creativity. It also recognizes the work of the researcher in question and provides fair compensation for the intellectual input and effort expended.

    This article is brought to you by Exy Intellectual Property Malaysia and Singapore.