For staff

Before you publish

While the University recognises the rights and benefits of publishing in academic literature, it is the policy of the University to promote the commercial exploitation of any intellectual property arising out of research undertaken here.

Under employment law, the intellectual property of employees of the University belongs to the University. Therefore, researchers are contractually obliged to consult with EI before any public, verbal or written disclosure, or exhibition of potentially valuable research results takes place.

However, EI understands the competitive nature of publishing research and will not delay publication.

Benefit of early contact

EI needs to be involved at the earliest stages so that we have sufficient time to make a thorough assessment of the technology (taking into account patentability, market and commercial criteria), and, where necessary and justified, to prepare and file a patent application.

As a rough guide, we would ideally seek to have six to eight weeks elapsed time for this process. Although, in exceptional cases, we are able to complete these activities within a matter of days.

Protecting commercial value of research

We strongly encourage you to make an invention disclosure to your local EI Business Development Executive (BDE) at the earliest opportunity if, during the course of your research or ordinary University duties, you devise any form of intellectual property which may have commercial applications.

If you do not contact us until after the concept has been presented externally, there is a high probability that any commercial value will be diminished or destroyed and certainly before the draft publication has been written.

Not all disclosures will require patenting

You should bear in mind that patenting is an expensive process, so EI will not file patents on all the invention disclosures we receive.

However, we can give an early indication whether it is necessary to obtain patent protection for your intellectual property prior to publication.