Intellectual property in IMI

The IMI Intellectual Property (IP) provisions/rules govern the IP regime of all projects supported by IMI and apply equally to all partners in the projects. The guiding principle behind provisions is IMI’s objective of making a very practical contribution to improving the efficiency of drug development. The IP provisions are therefore designed to promote the creation and exploitation of knowledge generated and reward innovation, while respecting the assets and interests of all project partners.

An important aspect of IMI's IP provisions is their flexibility, which allows them to be adapted to the needs of the individual projects and their partners. Of significance here is the neutral role played by the IMI Programme Office, which offers impartial advice to all partners during negotiations on IP, and ensures that the resulting agreement is in line with the IMI IP provisions and does not leave some project partners at a disadvantage. The flexibility of the provisions, coupled with IMI’s neutral role in negotiations, have allowed IMI project partners to share resources and knowledge in unprecedented ways and deliver results that would not have been possible otherwise.

Another key element of successful negotiations is that IP issues are agreed before the launch of the project. Project partners can therefore be confident that knowledge developed and shared within the project will be used appropriately.


IMI2 IP provisions

  • The IP provisions for all IMI2 projects are set out in Articles 23 to 31 of the IMI2 Model Grant Agreement
  • Download a presentation  summarising the IMI2 IP provisions, including details of what is new under IMI2 compared to IMI1
  • Watch a video of a presentation of the IMI2 IP Policy given by IMI Legal Manager Magali Poinot at the IMI Stakeholder Forum in Brussels, Belgium, in September 2016


IMI1 IP policy


IP in practice - driving the success of IMI projects

In practice, the IMI IP provisions allow companies, universities and other organisations to share compounds, data and knowledge with one another in an unprecedented way.

For example, in the European Lead Factory, a range of companies are contributing their own compounds and targets to the project to create a Joint European Compound Collection. Organisations can run screenings to see if they can identify potential drug candidates or high‐quality pharmacological tools for the experimental validation of drug targets.

The companies involved in NEWMEDS have pooled their data to create the largest-known database of studies on schizophrenia, including information from 67 studies. The database represents a unique resource that is helping the project partners identify new, more effective ways of running clinical trials and analysing clinical trial results.

In the eTOX project, participating organisations are pooling their existing data on toxicity to develop novel, computer-based tools to test potential drugs for damaging effects on the heart and other vital organs.

In order to ensure innovative trial design in Alzheimer's disease while protecting the assets of various compounds, investigational medicinal products and markers contributors (academia, biotech and industry), and patients’ data, the EPAD consortium has made use of the flexibility offered by IMI's IP policy in terms of ownership of project results and access rights to third parties. Additionally, all the data collected from the EPAD cohort and trial will be made available to EPAD participants and third parties via a request procedure (for details, please contact the EPAD consortium) for analysis to help researchers everywhere improve their understanding of the early, pre-dementia phase of Alzheimer’s disease. More on EPAD's IP safeguards