Skip to content
Generic filters
Exact matches only

Patenting in Biotechnology (Coursera)

Far too often, researchers are misinformed about the role and the possibilities arising around patents and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). In this course we will teach you what IPR are – with a special focus on patents. Also this course will look at the importance of patents in the world of biotechnology – and what you actually can patent.

Should your research be protected? Can your research even be protected?

There are a lot of misunderstandings about patents, so first step is to know what patents really are and how they work. Then we will introduce how and when to apply for them. Also how to find existing patents is a crucial and necessary element to being able to assess whether your research should be protected or not.

The course will be divided in 7 sessions, and at the end of the course, you should be able to:

– describe the different types of IPR

– explain the conditions of patentability for an invention

– describe the various stages involved in a patent application

– search and retrieve patent information from databases

– read and understand a patent

– write claims related to biotechnology

– understand and explain the concept of Freedom To Operate

Course Materials:

You will need the following book as a reading material for the course:
“Patenting in Biotechnology, a laboratory manual” by Peter Ulvskov,

Also, you will need to get access from your home institution to these databases:

– Derwent Innovation Index (via Web of Science)

– SciFinder

Who is this class for: This course is aimed at Master and PhD students that want to learn about how to protect and create value from their current or future inventions. It is also a required course for students wanting to enrol in the BBIP Masters Programme at the Copenhagen Business School.



Introduction to Intellectual Property Rights

An introduction to the important subjects within the field of patenting, such as novelty and “person skilled in the art”. By Federico De Masi

Graded: Basic IP Quiz

Graded: Assessing Novelty


The Patent System I

Get to know the important timeline for getting a patent. We look at the filing, international filing, examination, publication, and potential approval of a patent. Note that we will go deeper into the search machinery later in lecture 5. By Peter Ulvskov.

Graded: Using The Databases + Reading a Patent

Graded: Patent trees and families

Graded: Your Own Patent Timeline


The Patent System II

The first video introduces search reports and looks into destruction of novelty/inventive steps. The second video covers international filling – the PCT system. The issues with medical use claims will also be discussed. By Peter Ulvskov.

Graded: Understanding the World of Patents

Graded: The filing process

Graded: Document Types

Graded: Analyse a Patent


Creating a Patent Landscape

To map the patent landscape for an invention you need to be able to perform “literature search” for patents. This is important if you want to avoid infringing existing patents. In this lecture, different databases are reviewed: Derwent, USPTO, and NCBI. By Peter Ulvskov.

Graded: Derwent User Interface

Graded: Derwent Boolean Algebra, Wildcards and Operator Precedence

Graded: Hierarchical Search Profiles in Derwent

Graded: Field Tags and Operators in USPTO and Patentscope

Graded: Hierarchical Search


How to Patent Biotechnology Inventions?

Here we go through the interesting issues, rules and possibilities of patenting specific biotechnology related items as microorganisms or enzymes. By Claus Jørgensen.

Graded: Biotechnology Inventions

Graded: Patentability of Your Own Biotech Invention


Business and Patents

How can we avoid infringing other patents and what are solutions in case we do? Freedom to operate (FTO) is in its essence to the constraints surrounding your invention that prevents your ability to produce/sell your invention. By Karin Beukel.

Graded: Freedom To Operate

Graded: Investigation of FTO for Your Own Biotech Invention


Patenting Small Chemicals and Compounds

In this lecture the novelty of chemical molecules and natural products are discussed. An interesting real life example tried to but things in perspective. By Federico De Masi.

Graded: Patenting Small Compounds

Searching Patents for Small Chemicals

Introduction to using SciFinder, an enormous database for chemical reactions and compounds. See how one utilizes Markus formulas to search for patents. By Peter Ulvskov.

Graded: Scifinder Search

Conclusion – Should You Patent Your Invention?

Philosophical lecture about the benefit of patenting and how to actually use your approved patent. Also importantly, we cover ALL the reasons to NOT patent! Definitely important even though we really love patents in this course.

Graded: Patenting Strategy