What is IP?
Intellectual Property (IP) is a way of describing every new idea your mind has. As a researcher, IP is central to everything you do, invent or create. IP doesn’t have to have a commercial application or potential to be important, as it is managed through research funding contracts and collaboration agreements. If IP is commercially valuable, it can be registered through a patent, a trademark, a design, or plant breeder’s rights.
Who owns IP?
The Intellectual Property Policy and Procedure sets out the procedures around IP. Key points from the policy and procedure include:
The University, as an employer owns all Intellectual Property invented, created, made or designed by an Employee in the Course of Employment. This includes copyright in any material that is:
- Course Material;
- Computer Works;
- Administration Material; or
- Material created at the express request or direction of the University.
The University makes no automatic claim to ownership of Intellectual Property created independently by Students who are not Employees of the University. However to participate in certain projects (e.g. projects funded by Industry), a student may be asked to assign their Intellectual Property rights as a condition to involvement in that University Project. The University strongly encourages and supports students to seek independent legal advice before signing this type of agreement.
Agreements relating to a Visitor's work at the University including ownership rights relating to Intellectual Property created during such work, must be agreed and signed prior to the commencement of the work
Are you a student being asked to assign your IP?
You will receive a letter from the University outlining the request with an attached IP Deed of Assignment. Read these documents carefully, noting that IP assignment transfers your right to use, commercialise and protect your IP to USQ.
If you have questions about:
- the contents of the agreement - Seek external counsel (the letter will outline how the University supports you to get this advice);
- the contractual process - Contact Research Contracts team;
- the impact on your candidature and/or scholarship if you do not sign the agreement - Contact GRS; and/or
- the project scope and research involved in the project - Contact your supervisors.
Note that even though you will still own the copyright in your thesis after signing an IP deed, the publishing of your thesis and/or other publications may be delayed if this required in any third party agreement with an industry partner. This will not affect the examination of your thesis.
In the event of an IP dispute, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) will appoint a mediator to assist the parties in resolving their dispute. As a first step in considering an issue that has arisen in relation to IP, please contact the Director, Research Partnerships in the Office of the DVC (Research and Innovation).