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From Food Tech Innovation Portal

Introduction The objective of this stage is to define your strategy and secure your legal framework. This includes both intellectual property (internal and external to the project partners) and legislation issues.

For a first stage, keeping the idea secret is mandatory. For the following steps, you will have to decide whether it is more strategic to keep it as a secret or to register it as a patent.

It is use to constantly monoity R&D activities (technology watch) for the scope of the project. It will enable you to prevent any overlapping with competitors, and to defend the anteriority/precedence of idea if needed.

The legal watch should not be left out. Indeed, international, European, and national laws, regulations, norms and legal standards that govern the area of your future product can be modified or even created at any time. Your project will have to be constantly adapted to fit with the current legislations.

Key issues - What strategy? Patent? Secret? Etc. (average duration for patent registration: 12 to 18 months)

- What are the existing patents/ property rights corresponding to the potential extensions?

- How to write (and make evolve) property agreements with the partners of the project/ the external service providers?

- What are the specific norms, requirements, rules, etc. regarding the product and process at international/national level, including impact on the environment (eco-friendliness)?

Food TIP's answers In the Technology section of this website (Food Tech Innovation Portal), you can find some information about the legal aspects of teh described technologies, when they are available.

Additionally, some Practical Sheets can be helpful at this stage: Access Rights in FP7, EU food legislation, Patents in FP7, Protection of IP, Standards, norms & certifications

Other sources International:

- World Intellectual Property Organization:

- Codex alimentarius: International Food Standards, guidelines and codes of practice


- Intellectual Property Rights helpdesk:

- European Patent Office:

- Access to European Union law:

- European Food Safety Authority:

- European Small Business Portal / Innovation, research and copyright: Portal gathering information provided by the EU on and for SMEs, ranging from practical advice to policy issues, from local contact points to networking links (available in all EU languages)

- Food safety in Europe: European Commission Portal on Food safety (food law and regulations, labelling…) (available on main EU languages)

European Committee for Standardization:

- How standards can support R&D and innovation:

- Search tools on European standards: (available in DE, EN, FR)

- List of National Standards Bodies:

See also:

- ENFFI Tool box: Food sector specific tools to facilitate the access to the financing process (but providing also information related to technical, legal and marketing issues)

Please pay attention to country specificities.

Title feasibility x legal
Key words and relations Access rights in FP7, EU Food legislation, FP7 patents, Protection of IP, Standards, norms & certifications
Latest version 2012/09/24
Completed by Agropolis International

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Created by Hte inra on 18 July 2012, at 16:23