Intellectual property

An important and distinguishing feature of universities is that they do research, the output of which is intellectual property.

It follows therefore that intellectual property (IP) is an important and distinguishing output of universities. For this reason, Victoria University of Wellington has an Intellectual Property Policy which addresses ownership, benefit sharing and management of the University’s IP.

Who owns intellectual property, and what should happen when it’s created?

Owned by staff:

  • IP created outside the normal course of employment.
  • Copyright in any original material of a scholarly, literary, dramatic, musical or artistic nature.

Action required: IP notification requirements do not apply.

Owned by undergraduate students:

  • Copyright in work created by them and other IP developed by them in the course of their studies but subject to any agreements with the University or third parties.

Action required: If an agreement with the University exists then the IP must be notified. A template for agreement is contained in Appendix B of the Intellectual Property Policy. In case of external placement an agreement documenting the basis of the placement, should normally be negotiated.

Owned by research students:

  • Copyright in work created by them such as their thesis, dissertation or report and other IP developed by them in the course of their studies but subject to any agreements with the University or third parties.

Action required: If an agreement with the University exists then this IP must be notified. A template for agreement is contained in Appendix B of the Intellectual Property Policy. In the case of external placements, an agreement documenting the basis of the placement should normally be negiotated.

Owned by the University:

  • IP created within the normal course of employment.
  • IP arising from commissioned works (subject to the provisions of an agreement).
  • IP arising from third parties under contract to the University (subject to the detailed provisions of an agreement).
  • IP resulting from the work of visiting academics (subject to the detailed provisions of an agreement).
  • IP developed by students under an agreement to assign IP.

Action required: This IP must be notified to the Viclink Intellectual Property Committee if it is thought to have commercial value.

Once notified the University may decide to:

  • claim ownership of the IP
  • license the IP to the creators
  • share the IP under joint and several ownership with the creator(s)
  • share the IP under joint ownership with the creator(s), or
  • decline ownership.

Owned by third parties:

  • IP created by the University under a contract to third parties (subject to the detailed provisions of an agreement).

Action required: IP notification requirements do not apply.

Owned by third parties:

  • IP created by the University under a contract to third parties (subject to the detailed provisions of an agreement).

Action required: IP notification requirements do not apply.

Ownership of Māturanga Māori:

  • IP based on existing Māturanga and Taonga Māori.

Action required: Consult Toihuarewa.

Owned by visiting academics:

  • Subject to the provisions and agreements negotiated.

Action required: Negotiate agreements with visiting academics conducting research at Victoria, and for Victoria academics conducting research at other institutions.

How do I notify IP?

Download the Intellectual Property Notification form, fill out the form and send it to the Intellectual Property Committee.

Intellectual Property Committee
Viclink Ltd
PO Box 1762
Wellington
Email: info@vic-link.co.nz

The Committee will make a decision as to ownership of the IP and give a response within 60 working days.

When can I disclose IP?

Notifiable IP must not be disclosed publicly unless there is a confidentiality agreement in place protecting that public disclosure, or the University has given its written approval for that IP to be disclosed.

Who gets the benefits of commercialisation?

Benefits derived from commercialisation of the IP owned by the University will be shared between the creator(s) and the University.  In general, the net financial return received from commercialisation shall be shared on the basis of:

  • one-third to the creator(s). In the case of more than one creator, in proportion to their relative contributions
  • one-third to the University’s School(s)/Centre(s)/Institute(s). In the case of more than one School(s)/Centre(s)/Institute(s), in proportion to their relative contributions.
  • one-third to the central University.

Intellectual property contacts

Students

For information regarding intellectual property for students, see the Faculty of Graduate Research website.

Staff

For more information on the University Intellectual Property Policy for staff, contact Ian McIntosh.