Monday, 20 July 2009

What Universities claimed in the first IP policies

IP Policies 1986-96


Policy Year



to Report



Collaborator or
Grant body

Australian National University


University claimed all IP, but not traditional scholarly output[1]




Not specified

Adelaide University


University claimed all IP[2]

Unclear from the policy[3]


Claims substantial ownership[4]

1993 policy on research contracts shows University would negotiate[5]

Macquarie University


University claimed all IP but waived traditional scholarship[6]



Not specified

University claimed all[9]

University of New England


University claimed some IP[10]



Not specified

Not specified



University claimed all IP[13]

No, but financial incentives in place


Not specified

Not specified



University claimed all IP[15]

Yes, but no mechanism[16]


Not specified[18]

Not specified[19]

[1] The Australian National University was especially broad in this: “the whole of the professional time of an academic staff member…”

[2] University of Adelaide claimed all IP produced within the university and a proportion of staff IP produced when on study leave or secondment at another institution. It did not claim IP of part-time staff for work done outside of university duties. (Adelaide 1989) and not less than one half of IP of honorary or unpaid staff, all surviving the termination of employment

[3] The University of Adelaide 1989 policy pointed out that

[4] University of Adelaide claimed one quarter of IP of visitors from research conducted while visiting Adelaide on leave from another university (Adelaide 1989)

[5] Adelaide University amended, in 1993, its policy on Outside research grants, contracts and consultancies, which included items that other universities included in their IP policy.

[6] Macquarie University normally waived all right to traditional scholarly output (MQ 1990)

[7] Macquarie policy requires immediate reporting for potentially patentable research (MQ 1990)

[8] Macquarie university made student assignment of IP rights to the university a condition of their enrolment (MQ 1990) In 1991 it was pointed out that this “may be at variance with what is considered to be the individual’s rights at law” (MQ Minutes Council Meeting 23 August 1991). However, the policy remained until a much later policy was approved (post-2000)

[9] Macquarie university policy was to not normally sign research contracts unless all IP assigned to it. (MQ 1990)

[10] The University of New England claimed staff IP when it had made a specific financial or resource contribution; if it was patented; if it was course material; if software etc. All other IP belonged to the originator who was required to grant the university a royalty-free licence to use it. (UNE 1995)

[11] (UNE 1995) Required to report patentable or comercialisable research

[12] (UNE) Except in working with “a particular” supervisor who may require the student to assign IP.

[13] Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology defined IP more broadly than other universities, as “any confidential information or any rights resulting from intellectual activity”. RMIT also specified that it would own copyright only when net income from copyright exceeds $15,000 in any calendar year. (RMIT 1995)

[14] The RMIT 1995 policy did make provision for owning work using considerable quantities of the university’s pre-exiting IP or working in collaboration with staff.

[15] The University of Western Australia did not claim ownership over copyright, except for computer programs. This is the equivalent of not claiming traditional scholarly output. (UWA v Gray, 2008, pp46-47). The UWA v Gray judgment found in 2008 that the University of Western Australia had no right to claim all IP of a staff member and that this (1996) policy was invalid in that respect.

[16] UWA v Gray (page?)s

[17] The segments of the 1996 policy reproduced in the UWA v Gray judgement suggest the policy did not differentiate between student and staff originators (see pp. 45-48)

[18] Not specified in the segments replicated in UWA v Gray. Specification in original policy unknown.

[19] Not specified in the segments replicated in UWA v Gray. Specification in original policy unknown.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hannah Forsyth

Pleace Email John Burnheim Philosophy University of Sydney.

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Alfredo Loredo

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