Intellectual Property (IP) can include know-how, inventions, results, copyright, patents and software. It can arise from many different activities within the University, including unfunded and publicly funded research activities, in which case it will normally belong to the University, “sponsored or collaborative research”, where ownership is a matter of contractual negotiation, student projects both sponsored and non-sponsored and general academic endeavours. Furthermore it can be divided into that existing prior to entering into a contract ("Background IP") and that arising as a result of a defined project after entering into a contract ("Foreground IP").
In general, under its employment conditions, the University owns all IP created or devised by its employees and wishes to ensure that it is properly handled in order to maximise its value for the benefit of the University, the staff concerned and the wider economy. It is therefore important that all staff are aware of what to do if they have created IP and follow the correct procedures to ensure its protection and exploitation. See the University's Intellectual Property Regulations for a full account and consult with the University's Intellectual Property Manager as soon as you become aware that you might have IP of commercial value.
From the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO):
Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce. Intellectual property is divided into two categories:
- Industrial property
which includes inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic indications of source
which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and architectural designs. Rights related to copyright include those of performing artists in their performances, producers of phonograms in their recordings, and those of broadcasters in their radio and television programs.
Intellectual property rights or IPR are specific legal rights which protect the owners of IP. IPR can be subdivided into the following major categories: