IP protection is key in collaborative R&D in chemical industry, says Eversheds’ Tunney

Phillip Tunney, partner and head of the UK chemical sector group at Eversheds, has commented on the importance of protecting intellectual property (IP) for those in the chemical industry who are involved in collaborative R&D. 

Tunney — who was commenting following news of a growing trend for European chemicals and plastics manufacturers to cut in-house research and instead look to persuade industrial customers to work together on collaborative R&D — said that the competitive advantage US chemical companies are gaining from not just cheap energy prices but also cheaper feed stocks means that European chemical producers are having to focus on innovation.

He added that establishing closer ties to customers is one of the best ways to do that.

Tunney continued: ‘Collaboration agreements are becoming more and more important for the industry, but firms have to be careful to make sure that they carefully protect their IP when doing so.’