Understanding Royalties

Learn more about the proceeds of commercialisation

The University may license  intellectual property to either an existing company or a new ‘start-up’ company. In return, the company may make royalty payments to the University. Deductions  are then made for costs incurred in protecting and licensing the IP, and to meet our obligations to collaborating partners. The Net Proceeds of Commercialisation (Royalties) are then shared with the IP creators and their University faculties.

  • If I discover something, what do I get?

    As an IP creator, you are entitled to a share of the payments that the University receives from commercialisation of the IP. As defined by the University IP Policy and Statute, creators of the IP share 40% of the total net proceeds of commercialisation.

  • I am a student. What am I entitled to?

    The University encourages student entrepreneurship. If you contribute to creation of University owned IP, or you own the IP and assign it to the University, you have the same entitlements as other IP creators who share 40% of the total net proceeds from commercialisation, split in proportions agreed amongst themselves.

  • If I start a company what happens to my royalty share?

    If you start a company based on University owned IP that you have created, your entitlement as an IP creator to a share of the 40% of the total net proceeds is retained. You may receive other benefits arising from the company’s success without this entitlement being compromised.

  • How is the money divided between IP creators?

    IP creators share 40% of the total net proceeds from commercialisation. They decide amongst themselves the split of this share that each will receive for all payments, usually based on relative contribution made. They communicate this to the University using a signed Apportionment of Net Proceeds of Commercialisation form.

  • Are non-inventive contributions recognised?

    The University encourages an entrepreneurial culture in which those who make a significant supporting contribution may be eligible to share in the benefits of commercialisation with the primary IP creators. This is decided among the creators and recorded on a signed Apportionment of Net Proceeds of Commercialisation form.

  • What if IP creators can’t agree on share of net proceeds?

    The IP creators are responsible for deciding how the creator share of net proceeds is to be distributed and informing the University of this decision. If agreement cannot be achieved, the dispute will be referred to the Executive Director, Research, Innovation and Commercialisation for arbitration.

  • What happens if I own the IP and assign ownership to the University?

    By mutual agreement, you may transfer IP that you own to the University. This may be undertaken to access University resources and facilitate commercialisation of your IP. In exchange for IP ownership and the potential commercial return, a royalty payment scheme is negotiated with agreed payments made to you.

  • What happens to my entitlement if I retire or leave the University?

    Your entitlement to a share of net proceeds from IP commercialisation is retained if you no longer work or study at the University. However, you must ensure that your contact and bank account details are always current so that any future payments to you can be completed.

  • What happens to my entitlement if I die?

    In the event of an IP creator’s death, the entitlement may pass to the beneficiaries of the creator’s deceased estate with payments being made under the same terms. If there are no beneficiaries to the creator's estate then the proceeds may be paid to the University, faculties and remaining creators in relative proportions consistent with previous distributions.

  • How do I notify the University of my new contact details?

    To ensure you continue to receive payments due to you from commercialisation of IP, please send your updated contact and bank account details to the IP Contracts Officer using the link at the top of this page.

  • Can I redirect payments to my lab or the University?

    No, payments owing must be made to you personally and cannot be redirected. Should you wish to pass these payments to other parties, this must be undertaken by separate arrangement.

  • Can I transfer my entitlement?

    Entitlement to your share of proceeds from IP commercialisation can be transferred by legal agreement

  • Can I defer the timing of payments to me?

    No. The University aims to distribute monies received from IP commercialisation in a timely manner. There is no facility to manage the timing of these payments.

  • How will I know when I am going to receive my royalties?

    The University will contact you with the information that you IP has been successfully commercialised and that royalties are expected. You will receive instructions as to the relevant forms to facilitate the payment. Note, that there may be a significant time lag before any commercialisation and the receipt of income.

Need Help?

For general advice or assistance regarding royalty payments contact:

Roberta Stead, Intellectual Property Contracts Officer, Research, Innovation and Commercialisation.

Alternatively, email your question to

ip-mailbox@unimelb.edu.au