Disclosing your IP as a student

If you’re working on something you think could have commercial potential, tell us about it early on so we can help you protect your Intellectual Property (IP).

Your obligations

All University students, including graduate researchers, must disclose to the University any IP created when there is:

  • Potential for commercial application
  • A specified agreement governing ownership or use of the IP
  • A specified agreement or third-party agreement that obliges the University to disclose the IP to a third party.

Benefits of disclosing

When you disclose the IP to the University, the information remains confidential and does not compromise any future patent or other forms of protection.

It will open the door to a range of University-provided business support services, programs and funding to help you explore the potential of your research.

It could also lead to the commercialisation of your idea or creation and may involve securing IP protection for your idea and identifying potential future development partners.

When should I disclose IP?

The best time to disclose is early – ideally well before communicating your IP to anyone outside the University.

It’s important to complete the disclosure well before revealing the IP through publications, poster sessions, conferences, media releases, other communications or even verbally.

You should allow several months to protect the IP before publishing or talking to any external parties, especially prospective investors.

Tell us about your IP before you:

  • Publish
  • Present it at a conference
  • Send out a media release
  • Talk to anyone outside the University.

If you don’t, it can prevent you from taking your idea to market later.

How do I disclose IP?

As soon as you believe you have created IP which may have commercial application, complete the relevant IP Disclosure form.

Choose between the standard Invention Disclosure Form and the alternative which is used for Copyright and Software Disclosure.

Before submitting the form, notify all other University co-creators of the IP about the disclosure and ensure that they are satisfied with the content and accuracy of the submission.

What happens next?

Completing a disclosure will clarify who owns the IP and what support options may be available to protect and further develop your IP. Working with you, the Knowledge and Technology Transfer team will assess the IP and its commercial potential before making a recommendation to proceed if appropriate.

The questions in relation to the intellectual property explored at this stage include:

  • Impact potential: Why is it new and clever? Why hasn't it been done before?
  • Market opportunity: Does it solve a real-world problem with end-user benefits?
  • IP position: What is the nature of the intellectual property? Has it been published or disclosed?
  • Development stage: Do you have supporting data or proof-of-concept?
  • Ownership and rights: Who are the creators? Are there other collaborators?

If you have any questions, contact the University’s Knowledge and Technology Transfer team.

First published on 7 March 2023.

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