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A Service for Scientists

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The Contract Office at the Center for Technology Transfer (ZFT) helps you to prepare research contracts with industry partners by providing you legal advice and assistance in structuring and concluding the contract. The support focuses on questions concerning intellectual property rights and the implementation of the University of Freiburg’s IPR-Policy.

If you are preparing a contract involving research funding from the European Union, please contact the EU-Office, and if it is in the field of medicine, please consult the EU Department at the Faculty of Medicine. For research contracts with public institutions at the national and international level (except for the EU and except for medicine), including any necessary collateral contracts, please contact the Legal Advice Office.

Contracts for the university with third parties can only be concluded by persons authorized to do so and therefore require a legally binding signature. For research contracts with industrial partners, Prof. Bernhard Arnolds, director of the ZFT/ ITO, has been granted the authority to sign such contracts by the rector and by the commercial director of the Medical Center – University of Freiburg.

Please determine whether the planned research project is based on an invention. In this case, please contact the ZFT’s Patent Office before approaching a third party with the idea or invention. Every “disclosure” of an invention made before a patent application has been filed is detrimental to the novelty of the invention and prevents the inventor from being granted property rights to it.

Sample Contracts

Sample or model contracts are available at the ZFT Contract Office for the following typical contracts involving cooperation with industrial partners:

  • research contracts
  • research partnerships
  • pilot studies
  • support for self-initiated research projects
  • nondisclosure agreements – CDA/ NDA
  • material transfer agreements – MTA

Secondary Activities

If you wish to take on an activity as a secondary activity rather than as a part of your official duties, please check with your human resources department to clarify whether it is permissible alongside your official duties. You are responsible for reviewing and concluding contracts as a secondary activity. You might need to seek legal advice at your own cost.

Please make sure that your secondary activity is compatible with the provisions described in the German Employee Inventions Act (Arbeitnehmererfindungsgesetz – ArbEG).  Inventions made within the context of a secondary activity that are based largely on experience gained and work performed as a part of your official duties are also employee inventions (Section 4, Paragraph 2, No. 2 of the ArbEG), and the University of Freiburg has a legitimate claim to them. Rights to employee inventions may therefore only be extended to third parties by way of a separate agreement with the University of Freiburg.