Honorary appointees and visitors ownership of intellectual property

Understand the intellectual property ownership rights created by University of Melbourne honourees and visitors

In relation to honorary appointees and visitors, the University only asserts ownership of IP which is 'teaching material' or the subject of 'specified agreements'. However, honorary appointees and visitors have a responsibility to identify, disclose, protect, manage and, where appropriate, be involved in the commercialisation of IP.

Teaching material

The University asserts ownership of IP of your teaching materials, including all versions, whether digital or otherwise, of information, documents and materials you create or use for the primary purposes of teaching and educating at the University. This includes the permitted adaptation or incorporation of scholarship, learning or research for that primary purpose. Examples include your:

  • lecture notes that you share with students
  • computer-generated presentations
  • course guides
  • overhead projector notes
  • examination scripts
  • examination marking guides
  • course databases
  • websites and multimedia-based courseware.

Specified agreements

Where honorary appointees and visitors are engaged in activities which are the subject of a 'specified agreement', the University owns the IP you create under that agreement and you are bound by any confidentiality obligations or other contractual terms imposed.

A 'specified agreement' means 'an agreement or deed between the University and any party which relates to the ownership or use of IP that may arise out of an activity, including research, which is identified in the agreement or deed.' This includes but is not limited to research grant agreements and research contracts.

Computer programs and educational software

Visitors and honoraries planning to engage in the development of a University computer program and/or software should first clarify with the University the IP arrangements to apply in respect of that development.

Duty of IP disclosure

Honorary appointees and visitors have a responsibility to identify, protect, manage and, where appropriate, be involved in the commercialisation of IP. Honorary appointees and visitors have a specific duty to disclose inventions with potential commercial value or where required by a 'specified agreement' (the University of Melbourne Statute 13(6)). More information on submitting an IP disclosure is outlined in the Intellectual Property disclosure page.

An individual's contribution to the development of IP will be recognised and if that IP is successfully commercialised and there is a financial return to the University, individual creators of the IP, including honorary appointees and visitors, will be entitled to a share of net revenues received by the University.

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