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.

University policy on Intellectual Property commercialisation 

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 them during their 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.

University policy on health-related technologies

The University of Edinburgh conducts world-class research into novel medicines, diagnostics, medical devices, and other health-related technologies. We are mindful of the importance of the development and distribution of resultant products within developing countries and recognise that improving health and access to these technologies and products are amongst the most pressing needs for these countries.

The University of Edinburgh  Essential Medicines Statement outlines the principle and strategies for licensing technology for commercial exploitation purposes, so far as is practicable.