Staff ownership of intellectual property

Understand the intellectual property ownership rights created by University of Melbourne staff

Ownership of rights to Intellectual Property (IP) created by University staff is outlined in the University of Melbourne Statute regarding IP and associated IP Policy.

The University asserts ownership of IP, other than scholarly works, created by its academic staff. This is congruent with Commonwealth law and reflects the prevailing expectation of national granting bodies. This approach provides clarity and security of ownership rights, thereby promoting the commercialisation of research and the transfer of knowledge to the wider community.

Students as staff members

If a student is also employed part-time by the University as a staff member, rights to IP they create will vest in the University. Students are advised to separate, where feasible, the work that they undertake as a student from that undertaken as an employee. The University also asserts ownership of IP created by casual employees of the University.

Duty of IP disclosure

An IP disclosure is required when something novel and useful has been conceived and developed. Such IP may need protection, particularly when the invention, technology, software or multimedia product has commercial value. This requirement does not apply to literary works, musical creations, or works of art.

All staff creators of Intellectual Property 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 will be entitled to a share of net revenues received by the University.

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