The Max Planck Society is a non-profit research organization which is why scientists at its institutes are obliged to make the results of their work accessible to the general public. This knowledge transfer occurs in a number of ways:
Since 1970, the Max Planck Society has maintained its own company to promote the transfer of technology. Max Planck Innovation (until the end of 2006 under the name of Garching Innovation) advises institutes on matters pertaining to the legal protection of industrial property. Max Planck Innovation does the necessary patent research, arranges legal counsel, and advises the researchers on patent registration procedures in Germany and abroad. In special cases, Max Planck Innovation approaches companies with inventions stemming from the institutes.