For staff

University policy on intellectual property

The University and EI have established various policies on intellectual property, including the commercial exploitation of research, student intellectual property rights and essential medicines.

The commercial exploitation of intellectual property

Employees of the University of Edinburgh produce a tremendous amount of intellectual property (IP) in the course of their research and scholarship. Some of this IP makes a valuable contribution to the body of knowledge relating to a wide range of disciplines, but has little commercial value.

Other IP has significant potential for commercial exploitation which can be of financial benefit to both the University and the employee concerned. In addition, sponsors of research and government expect the University to make arrangements for the exploitation of IP.

The purpose of this policy document is to provide guidance and sources of advice in order to encourage the early identification of such IP and successful exploitation for the mutual benefit of all parties.

 

Student intellectual property

The default legal position is that the student will automatically own all intellectual property rights in work done and results created by him/her during his/her research project / studentship. Students are not employees of the University and, therefore, they own their own IP, unless the student has assigned their rights to the University.

Our normal practice is to require students conducting research in areas known to be of immediate commercial relevance to enter into a formal assignation agreement with the University.

Essential medicines

The University of Edinburgh recognises that improving health and access to medicines are among the most pressing needs and continues to pioneer world-class research into the often preventable diseases that take millions of lives every year.

To ensure the fruits of its research are accessible to those in greatest need, the University has published an Essential Medicines Position Statement when licensing its technology for commercial purposes.