Date of this Version
- Ownership of inventions created in a university setting is fact-based and may be tricky to deduce. Most inventions created in a university lab, or that result from using university resources, belong to the university because of terms included in the academic entrepreneur’s employment contract and because of the university’s intellectual property policy. However, there are other possible owners of the technology as a result of collaboration and funding relationships.
- The entrepreneur may also claim ownership rights themselves and secure a waiver of the university’s intellectual property policy if the inventing took place outside of the entrepreneur’s employment, or if there is an agreement in place from a funding source other than the federal government.
- The university’s technology transfer office will decide whether and how to protect any inventions owned by the university with formal intellectual property tools, usually using patent or copyright. This is a strategic decision that considers many factors.
- Even if the university controls the protection process, the academic entrepreneur has an important role to play in establishing strong protection, because they know the invention, the market, and the competitors better than anyone else.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
"Intellectual Property: Ownership and Protection in a University Setting,"
Academic Entrepreneurship for Medical and Health Scientists: Vol. 1
, Article 1.
Available at: https://repository.upenn.edu/ace/vol1/iss3/1