OTC Commercialization Processes


What is intellectual property (IP)?
Intellectual property consists of patents, copyrights, trademarks/servicemarks, and tangible research property that provide the basis for transforming nascent scientific discoveries to products and services available for the public good. Startup and established companies alike use IP to ascertain and protect their market niche — resulting in job creation and other economic development advantages. IP coming out of Purdue University also provides additional revenue back to the inventor and University through patent licensing fees. Disclosures made to the OTC are recorded and screened through comprehensive processes to determine what IP, if any, exists.

How does Purdue manage IP?

Intellectual property at Purdue University is governed by three primary policies:

  1. Intellectual Property Policy (I.A.1) — Statement of Purdue University policy, principles and administrative procedures relating to the ownership of patents, copyrights, and other rights in inventions as well as written and recorded materials.
    • Patents — Purdue University owns the rights to all inventions made in the course of employment by the University or through the use of University resources.
    • Trademarks/Servicemarks — Purdue University owns all rights related to an item of intellectual property or a program of education, service, public relations, research or training program of the University.
    • Copyrights — All rights in copyrightable works remain with the creator unless:
      • Created pursuant to the terms of a University agreement with an external party;
      • Created as a specific, written requirement of employment or as an assigned University duty;
      • Specifically commissioned by the University;
      • The creator of the copyrightable work made more than incidental use of University resources;
      • The copyrightable work is also patentable and/or is associated with a University trademark.
    • Tangible Research Property — Perceptible items produced in the course of research. Purdue University owns all rights in tangible research property related to an individual's employment responsibilities and/or developed with support from University resources.
  2. Use of Copyrighted Materials for Education and Research Purposes (I.A.3)
  3. University Policy on Conflicts of Interest and Commitment

Who is responsible for managing IP at Purdue?

IP is managed by Purdue Research Foundation's Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC), Purdue University's Sponsored Program Services and its Office of the Vice President for Research.

OTC handles all the patents, copyrights, trademarks and tangible research property issues. Some of OTC roles include:

  • Solicit and analyze invention disclosures from faculty, students and staff
  • Analyze commercialization feasibility of University intellectual property and subsequent strategies
  • License "tangible research property" for commercial use
  • License patents and copyrights for commercial use
  • Facilitate faculty and technology startups
  • Advise faculty on IP issues
  • Foster inventor participation in the technology transfer process
  • Educate campus researchers about the technology transfer process at Purdue

Sponsored Program Services manages all research relationships on behalf of the University and enters into agreements with research sponsors as to how IP developed under a research project will be administered.

The Office of the Vice President for Research manages all conflict of interest issues including consulting arrangements and faculty-owned business startups. See Faculty-Owned and Operated Businesses: Policy, Guidelines, and Procedures

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