Intellectual Property Law

Finding 1: Some co-creators contribute “only” equipment, infrastructure or ideas without actively taking part in research. These inputs are usually not protected by IP law and do not result in a right to (co-)exploit the innovation or claim any revenues.

Co-creators should be encouraged to contractually determine what kinds of contribution they acknowledge or financially compensate, even if the contribution is not protected by IP law.

Finding 2: If a data set does not contain personal data, it does not fall within the scope of European Data Protection Law. For specific cases, such as machine-generated non-personal data (e.g. performance data of a robotics prototype or unstructured classification results of traffic sign images), database law or trade secret law may apply. However, in the majority of cases, the (co-)ownership of non-personal data is a matter of contract law.

Co-creators should be encouraged to contractually tailor the terms of data ownership to the specific co-creation project.