A RESEARCHER'S GUIDE TO INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
Guide to Intellectual Property
Introduction to Intellectual Property
Simply stated, intellectual property is any form of knowledge or expression created with one's intellect. It includes such things as Inventions, computer software, trademarks, literary, artistic musical or visual works and even expertise or know- how.
Different types of Intellectual Property (IP) can have different forms of legal protection. For example: Inventions may be protected by a patent; while software,
literary, artistic and musical works may be protected by copyright.
Prior to any
patenting a research discovery may require a non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement to be signed, or in the case of a biological material, there may also need to be a material transfer agreement.
The initial ownership of Intellectual Property, in most cases, resides with the creator of that Intellectual Property, but policies at the University of Ottawa, the Ottawa Health Research Institute and the University of Ottawa Heart Institute require the assignment of any invention by a researcher to the institution in exchange for the royalty revenue sharing outlined in the APUO Collective Agreement (Article 35). This provides the basis for policies at UOHI and OHRI, so that all academic researchers fall under the same revenue sharing rules at the University of Ottawa and its affiliated institutions.
1.2 Research Discovery and Inventions
Most inventions and software created at Canadian universities are based on (laboratory-based) research discoveries or research projects that are primarily sponsored by government. In such cases, there is an institutional responsibility (imposed by federal granting agencies and other research sponsors) to ensure that Intellectual Property resulting from research is utilized for the benefit of the public at large. This may require formal intellectual property protection, followed by technology transfer and commercialization (with a Canadian based company, wherever possible).
Research discoveries in all fields of academic research have the potential to be patentable. However, most patentable inventions from Canadian and US institutions result from engineering and biomedical research (see www.autm.net). Increasingly the transfer of intellectual property from academic research to the local community