INESC TEC in the top 10 national applicants in the registration of European patents

Data from the last annual report published by the European Patent Office (EPO) place INESC TEC in the national top of the institutions with the most patent applications registered, making it one of the organisations with a more sustainable and constant presence since 2017. In 2023, INESC TEC registered six patents in the fields of power and energy, software (navigation), medical technology, cybersecurity, instrumentation, and robotics.

Portugal ranks 28th in European patent registration, totalling 329 patents registered in 2023 – with the Northern region accounting for 158.

In the case of INESC TEC, there were six patents registered, with the Institute earning the 10th place in the ranking, together with Feedzai. A system and method of distributed operation for a local energy community (power and energy); an Artificial Intelligence system and a computer-implemented method for generating realistic synthetic data of TCP/IP network traffic (software – navigation); a system for detecting and identifying extracellular vesicles in a liquid dispersion sample (medical technology); a method and device for preserving distributed learning by linear regression (cybersecurity); a device and method for detecting and identifying molecularly printed polymers in a liquid dispersion (medical technology), and an underwater robotic vehicle for small spaces (robotics) – these are the six patents submitted by INESC TEC in 2023.

According to Daniel Vasconcelos, the head of INESC TEC Technology Licensing Service, this constant presence in the European ranking highlights the investment that has been made in this area – particularly in 2018, when INESC TEC reached the first place in the national ranking. “INESC TEC’s strategy is based on a portfolio management of intellectual property focusing on quality, sustainability, support for high-risk research and valuation. Knowing that companies are currently exploiting three of the six listed patents shows that we’re carrying out our mission successfully”.

Intellectual property on INESC TEC’s agenda

INESC TEC has a long track record of investment in technology transfer, through the protection of intellectual property. In 2019, INESC TEC was the first Portuguese institution to be part of the TTO circle, i.e., the European Technology Transfer Offices Circle – an initiative of the European Commission that brings together some of the largest European research institutions, like CERN, the European Space Agency, etc. The Institute is currently the leader of the working sub-group dedicated to open-source software and remains the only Portuguese institution to be part of the TTO Circle

It’s worth mentioning that Daniel Vasconcelos was one of the speakers invited by the Consulate General of Portugal in Zurich to discuss the theme “Intellectual Property: from research to patent”, on March 21. At the round table on academic practice, the INESC TEC representative was joined by other leaders of these areas from several Portuguese institutions.

“The management of intellectual property is critical for Portuguese organisations to be able to grow and boost their impact. The national ecosystem is still very undeveloped in this regard, capturing a small fraction of the value created in both academia and national industry. Connecting the national critical mass to the major global innovation hubs will be the best way to help Portugal improve its position”, said Daniel Vasconcelos.


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