Third Party IP
It is a common misconception that it is alright to use the IP of a third party for research purposes without having a licence. This is not correct. Research institutions have often ‘got away with it’ because the owner of the IP which is being used has taken a view that the work being done is not close to the market and does not compete with it in any way. That does not take away from the fact that in using such IP your research institution and you could be infringing IP and could be taken to court.
Making a patented product or using a patented process would usually infringe the patent, unless for experimental purposes relating to the subject matter of the invention. This means you can do all this if you are carrying out research to modify or improve the patented invention. You cannot use it for research on an unrelated subject matter without a license.