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Protect your IP

If the results of research could not be legally protected by means of patents or if the patents could not be enforced, fewer and fewer companies would undertake the risky and expensive work needed to develop new medicines. Since developing a new drug costs on average €800 million, there must be some assurance that the efforts put into research will be appropriately remunerated. Only with patent protection and the temporally limited exclusive rights that come with it can the huge sums spent on pharmaceutical research be recouped.

Patents are just one form of the so called “intellectual property”. To learn “What is intellectual property?” please see our FAQs.

A patentable invention is:

  • New
  • Inventive
  • Has an industrial application

For example: assays, compounds, sequences, devices etc. Not all inventions by the German Cancer Research Center are patented. Many new developments such as cell lines, antibodies, mouse models, and software can nevertheless be licensed.

We will help you figure out what the best strategy for protecting your intellectual property is, you just need to submit an invention disclosure form to us. Please see the process summarized below.

A very important tip: before you submit your research anywhere (abstract, tweets, preprints, journal submission) , please submit your manuscript for invention screening. We will not delay your publication.


Don’t forget that patenting your invention, will not delay your publication!  A patent application is drafted in parallel to the preparation of the manuscript for publication in a scientific journal. Both documents are then submitted simultaneously. 

Some of the financial benefits go to DKFZ inventors privately, a portion to their department and DKFZ.

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