Innovation protection to secure competitive advantage

  • Leverage a protected knowledge base
  • Personalized partnerships to meet a wide range of needs
  • A team of patent engineers

CEA-List implements robust measures to protect research results and retain ownership of the associated intellectual property. Our IP policy is one of the pillars of our tech transfer strategy. The goal is to give our R&D partners a competitive advantage by securing the future commercialization and use of research results produced in partnership with CEA-List.

Patents, our preferred approach

Patents are the first line of defense in CEA-List’s robust intellectual property policy. The institute’s portfolio currently stands at more than 700 active patent families. Patent licenses are the primary mechanism for transferring CEA-List innovations to R&D partners.

Leverage a protected knowledge base

CEA-List’s robust IP policy has resulted in a substantial patent-protected knowledge base that can be leveraged for new R&D.

Our R&D partners can take full advantage of these patented technology bricks through joint projects. In return, partners help us add to this knowledge base, either by enhancing existing technologies or by helping us create new ones. Partners can, of course, use the technologies developed with us. However, our partners’ specific use cases rarely cover the full scope of application of a new technology. We retain ownership of the intellectual property so that it can be used by other partners for applications not covered by previous patent licenses. New use cases further enrich the knowledge base.

The CEA-List model of adding to a pool of patented technologies incrementally over time has proven effective with many of our R&D partners. The model also supports access to technology not only for major stakeholders in strategic industries, but also for small to mid-sized companies and startups, who no longer have to finance their own R&D to benefit from a technological advance.

Personalized partnerships to meet a wide range of needs

Partnerships with CEA-List generally include a patent licensing option the partner can choose to exercise within a given timeframe. Patent licenses cover the results produced during the partnership and the prior knowledge necessary for the use of the results, as long as no rights have previously been granted to third parties.

The terms of the patent license (scope, product or service covered, duration, financial compensation) are tailored to each individual situation depending on the partner’s strategy and other factors. Partners can request exclusive licenses to maximize their potential use of the technology developed. The terms of these exclusive patent licenses (scope and duration) are negotiated between the CEA and the partner.


patent applications filed in 2021


patent engineers

A team of patent engineers

CEA-List has a team of patent engineers who work closely with our researchers to support our technology transfer strategy. Their mission is to help the researchers protect the innovations developed. They secure the patent filing procedures and manage the IP portfolio, including geographical coverage.