Ownership of Intellectual Property

(1) The intellectual property rights vest, in the first instance, in the author, innovator or inventor, and as long as the innovator or inventor is a staff member or student of the University, the University shall be entitled in principle to ownership of the intellectual property concerned, where the innovation is made within the scope and in the course of the employment or commission unless otherwise agreed.

(2) All intellectual property conceptualized or developed by staff, in the course of normal duty, students, visitors and others or as a result of participation in UoN programmes, funds, facilities, support, or funds channeled through the UoN shall be owned by the University when:

  • The intellectual property was developed pursuant to a UoN sponsored or commissioned research agreement; or

  • The intellectual property was developed with significant use of facilities, resources or funds owned or administered by the UoN.

(3) The UoN may allow ownership of intellectual property in the following circumstances:

  • Where there has not been significant use of University resources;

  • Where the innovator or inventor had disclosed the nature and scope of his or her research and has been allowed to compensate the University for the use of the University's facilities and equipment as charged by the University to outsiders;

  • Where the University is involved in collaborative research with another person, institution, or business entity, in which case the intellectual property may be jointly owned and the distribution of royalties shall be governed by the contractual arrangements between the parties;

  • Where it has been expressly provided for between the University and the research sponsor; and

  • Where it has been expressly provided for between the University, staff, students, visitors and others.

(4) If the University cannot, or decides not to, proceed in a timely manner to protect the innovation using an intellectual Policy regime and/or to license or commercialize the invention, it may reassign ownership to the innovator or inventor at the latter's request. This should be to the extent possible under the terms of any agreements that supported or related to the work.

(5) Students shall own any intellectual property that they make, discover, or create in the course of their research unless:

  • The student has received financial support from the University in the form of wages, salary, stipend or grant funds for the research in which case the ownership shall be negotiatable;

  • The student has made significant use of University resources in connection with the research;

  • The research has been funded by a sponsor under a grant or sponsored research agreement, or is subject to a materials transfer agreement, confidential disclosure agreement or other legal obligation that restricts ownership of the intellectual property.

(6) The texts of all student theses and dissertations, and works derived from such works, are considered exempted scholarly works. The students shall own copyright in the scholarly work subject to a royalty-free license to the University to reproduce and publish the work. Students shall be allowed to publish their theses and dissertations unless they have agreed in writing to restrictions that precludes or delay publication.

(7) University research contracts shall protect the right of the staff, students and other employees to publish the results of their work, but may allow brief delays for the filing of patent applications or other move to protect intellectual property.

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