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Purdue Student Intellectual Property Rules for Course-Generated Innovations

 Purdue Policy I.A.1 Concerning Ownership of University Course-Generated Intellectual Property Created by Students

Purdue offers students of all disciplines encouragement and tangible opportunities to learn about entrepreneurship. As a result, Purdue has experienced an increased interest in the ownership of course-generated intellectual property that may have commercial value. The purpose of this memo is to advise you of a clarification of the Purdue Policy I.A.1 regarding ownership of intellectual property that was created by students as part of their course credit ("Course-Generated Intellectual Property"), and to ask that you share this policy with faculty and students.

Several practical scenarios in the generation of intellectual property occur at Purdue. Certain course projects may involve a company sponsor that provides students with practical experience in solving real-world problems. These collaborating companies may want written agreements transferring intellectual property ownership or license rights resulting from such course projects. Alternatively, in select instances, a Purdue student may have independent entrepreneurial aspirations of her/his own, and accordingly, wishes to establish a clear ownership path. Policy I.A.1 has caused students difficulty in applying Policy I.A.1 to these and similar scenarios.

In order to clarify the application of Policy I.A.1, the Committee on Patent and Copyrights advised and Purdue President Mitch Daniels approved the following clarification of Purdue Policy I.A.1 Intellectual Property (copy attached). The clarification titled "Ownership of University Course-Generated Intellectual Property Created by Students" clarifies that the University claims no ownership rights to Course-Generated Intellectual Property created by Purdue students, provided that:

(A) student innovator(s) made use of resources that are (i) routinely made available by the college/department administering the University course; and (ii) are provided to all students enrolled in the course in an equitable manner;

(B) the relevant student(s) are not paid by Purdue University, whether through internal funds or under a grant or contract with a third party; and

(C) there are no pre-existing obligations for Purdue in connection with such Course-Generated Intellectual Property.

Faculty are in the best position to help students understand ownership rights related to outside funding or other support within a specific course. The course syllabus is the ideal place to clarify student rights to ownership for the work performed in a course. If questions arise regarding the University's interest in, or possible ownership claim in, Course-Generated Intellectual Property developed by one or more Purdue students, please direct them to the Office of the Vice President for Research.

The full policy as be found here: Student Intellectual Property

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