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2018 winners | 2019 winners

The 4iP Council Research Award, is an international research competition for European University students studying at Masters and PhD levels.

The competition aims to foster student interest in, and validate new ideas on key topics related to the interplay between patents and innovation such as patents and competition regulation, trade and regulation, computer implemented inventions, patent litigation and patent quality, standardisation and patents.

Students are invited to submit papers for review by 4iP Council’s Research Award Jury of intellectual property experts from academia, government and industry. Winning publications will be published on 4iP Council’s website and promoted for third party review and publication. Prize winning authors may also be invited to present their work in person to 4iP Council’s distinguished Advisory Committee.

The following cash prizes will be given to the winner and runners-up:

First place €2000
Second place €1500
Third place €1000

In exceptional circumstances, 4iP Council may decide to grant more than three awards.


All current postgraduate students will be eligible for the 4iP Council Research Award. The papers should have the support of their supervisors or sponsoring academics.

Research topic remit
Entrant research should address one or more of the following policy areas:

  • Patent and competition law
  • Technology and technology policy regulation
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Research and development policy
  • Industrial organisation and management
  • IP and Trade
  • Public procurement
  • The interplay between patent law and policy
  • Investment and funding
  • SME businesses and startups
  • The role of IP in innovation
  • The China IP landscape


  • Only unpublished papers will be eligible for an award.
  • All papers should be in English.
  • Papers should meet a word limit of 4000-6000 (including footnotes) and should be accompanied by a brief summary that should not exceed 1000 words.
  • If the submitted paper reflects the outcome of a Masters thesis which has already been accepted by the entrant’s university, the university must give express consent to 4iP Council to publish the summary.
  • One co-author maximum is permitted. The cash prize is awarded per paper.
  • Entries submitted after the submission deadline will not be considered.

Submission requirements
Entries should be submitted by email to Elia Bergamini elia@4ipcouncil.com Papers and summaries should be in the same Word document without any reference to the author(s), his/her university or sponsoring academic.

Proof that the entrant is studying (e.g. certificate) is required. This should include details of the university and course.

The support of professors can be demonstrated with a scanned letter or email to Elia Bergamini. The name and contact details of the supervisor or sponsoring academic should be cited.

Selection criteria
4iP Council’s aim is to further the understanding of patent related topics in Europe through high quality, empirical research. Our jury, composed by members of 4iP Council and its Advisory Committee, will therefore evaluate the papers and select the winners at its full discretion, considering in particular:

  • Original thinking that broadens the debate on the chosen topic
  • Evidence based arguments and empirically sound data
  • High quality written expression
  • Relevance to current IP problems and debate

Submission deadline: 1 November 2019.
Winner and runner-up announcements: January 2020.