Section 1 - Context
(1) This document supports the implementation of the University's Intellectual Property Policy and should be read in conjunction with that document.
(2) The following procedures will be followed in applying the provisions of the Intellectual Property Policy.
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Section 2 - Procedure for Registration of University IP
(3) The University will maintain an Intellectual Property Register managed by Knowledge Exchange & Enterprise in the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation). A report on the register will be made annually to University Council.
(4) The Intellectual Property Register will include the following information:-
- a description of the University IP and its location;
- the names of those responsible and proportional contribution of inventorship for the University IP;
- any potential or current risks associated with the University IP;
- where the University has a licence to use a third party's IP: details of the licence, licensor, expiry date and payments;
- the anticipated costs and any anticipated revenue associated with the University IP; and
- any other information concerning the University IP which the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) indicates is required.
(5) Where a staff member creates University IP that may be capable of commercialisation, the staff member will disclose the details of the University IP to Knowledge Exchange & Enterprise through the University Invention Disclosure portal. The Knowledge Exchange & Enterprise team is available to provide advice and support to staff and students regarding commercialisation of University IP.
(6) Where a student creates University IP which may be capable of commercialisation, the student will advise the supervisor who will disclose the details of the University IP to Knowledge Exchange & Enterprise through the University Invention Disclosure portal.
(7) Staff or students who create University IP will be required to uphold confidentiality in accordance with the provisions of the Intellectual Property Policy.
(8) Once University IP is entered on the Intellectual Property Register, the procedure for commercialisation of University IP will apply.
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Section 3 - Procedure for Commercialisation of University IP
(9) When University IP is entered on the Intellectual Property Register, Knowledge Exchange & Enterprise, in consultation with the originator(s) and any other relevant University member(s) or external expert(s), will, within eight weeks (the determination period), evaluate the University IP for commercialisation.
(10) Knowledge Exchange & Enterprise will make the determination on the basis of appropriate legal, financial and commercial advice, prior art, third party involvement, potential market and customers, relevance of the intellectual property to the University's purposes, and with reference to the University's Risk Management Framework.
(11) Within the determination period, Knowledge Exchange & Enterprise will ensure that the ownership of the University IP is verified and will take all necessary steps to determine and verify that ownership. The originator(s) will assist where required in the verification process.
(12) During the determination period, all staff will do all things necessary to ensure that the University IP is treated as confidential, including by having any persons consulted during that period sign confidentiality agreements.
(13) An initial determination of the commercial potential of the University IP will be communicated to originator(s) within the determination period and may result in a recommendation to pursue one of the following pathways or other practical application as appropriate:
- Commercial Licence: a potential commercial licensing opportunity is identified with a third-party licensee and a commercialisation plan will be developed by Knowledge Exchange & Enterprise in consultation with the originator(s);
- Social venture: an opportunity exists to create a social venture to maximise public benefit arising from the University IP and create social and economic impact. A plan will be developed by Knowledge Exchange & Enterprise in consultation with the originator(s);
- Ongoing development: further development of the University IP is required to demonstrate commercialisation potential; or
- Spinout: the University IP is suitable for commercialisation through a new spinout company. A plan will be developed by Knowledge Exchange & Enterprise in consultation with the originator(s).
(14) Following the determination, Knowledge Exchange & Enterprise will be responsible for leading the commercialisation of the relevant University IP. Knowledge Exchange & Enterprise will consult with relevant stakeholders including the originator(s) and provide advice and support including filing and maintaining patents or other protection methods, undertaking customer and market research, identifying external partners who may be licensees, recommending funding sources and providing strategic commercial advice. At any time, the University in consultation with the originator(s), Colleges and/or external advisors may re-evaluate the commercial potential of University IP, adjust the preferred commercialisation pathway and commercialisation plan.
(15) From the date of approval of this Procedure, in the event of returns from commercialisation to the University, unless a separate agreement has been entered into between the University and the Originator(s), the net returns will be apportioned by the University to the Originator/s (50%) and the remaining 50% retained by the University. Net returns are returns after deduction of all direct University costs incurred regarding the creation, development and protection of the University IP which typically represents the cost of patenting and/or other protection, any payments to collaborating organisations under relevant agreements, and any external advice obtained with regard to commercialisation of the University IP. With regard to controlled entities this arrangement will apply to any new commercialisation agreements entered into from the date of approval of this Procedure.
(16) Where the University receives a share of the returns from commercialisation under this Section, unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), this amount will be allocated equally to the central University, the Division of Research and Innovation, and the host College of the Originator/s.
IP and open licensing
(17) There may be instances where University IP will be suitable for the application of an open licence, such as from Creative Commons, in accordance with the University's Open Access Policy. Staff members should not assume that their status as Originator(s) of University IP automatically grants them the ability to apply open licensing. A determination may be required from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), or Head of School as applicable, for this licensing application to occur. As outlined in the Intellectual Property Policy, not all materials may be suitable for open licensing. Where staff members own the IP, they may choose an open licence that best suits their needs in accordance with the University's Open Access Policy.
(18) Where approved course materials have been created as or converted to Open Educational Resources (OER), application of an appropriate open licence is a requirement to allow for the purposes of reuse, retention, revision, remixing, and redistribution that are associated with OER.
(19) To give effect to the clauses in this Section, appropriate attribution of the creator/s must be included, so as to not infringe on their moral rights. The attribution must also extend to any third-party copyright materials included, in accordance with the Copyright Compliance Guidelines.
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Section 4 - Procedure for Assignment of University IP
(20) University IP may only be assigned with the written approval of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) on the recommendation of Knowledge Exchange & Enterprise and in circumstances where an acceptable conflict of interest management plan and outside work approval, where relevant, is in place.
(21) Where the University elects to assign University IP to the originator(s), the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) will provide the assignment in writing.
(22) Originators who wish to have assigned to them University IP in the form of copyright in computer works will apply in writing to the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College or Head of Division, who after consultation with the Head of School or other senior staff, will advise the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation). The written application will include an assurance that the intellectual property is the original work of the staff member or student, or if produced jointly, will identify other person(s) involved and their agreement to the request for assignment.
(23) An Originator may request University IP in the form of copyright in course materials to be assigned to them by applying in writing to the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College or Head of Division, who after consultation with the Head of School or other senior staff, will advise the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation). The written application will include an assurance that the intellectual property is the original work of the staff member or student, or if produced jointly, will identify other person(s) involved and their agreement to the request for assignment.
(24) Where originators wish to create or convert course materials owned by the University as Open Educational Resources (OER), appropriate consideration will be provided to do so where possible. The application of open licensing for OERs, along with clearance of third-party copyright materials, will require consultation with knowledgeable staff at the University such as the Copyright Advisor.
(25) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) will determine whether to grant the assignment and what conditions, if any, will apply.
(26) Where University IP is assigned to a staff member or student, the University reserves the right to require a royalty-free, world-wide licence to the University for use for its purposes and reserves the right to include the licence conditions in any assignment of University IP.
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Section 5 - Procedure for Bringing Intellectual Property to the University
(27) A staff member or student who brings intellectual property to the University must, within six months of commencement of employment or enrolment provide documentation to the Knowledge Exchange & Enterprise team that includes:
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- a detailed description of that intellectual property;
- all documents and evidence relating to the ownership of that intellectual property, including to the extent possible any contract, agreement, licensing agreement or another institution's intellectual property policy; and
- written warranties to the extent possible that the use of that intellectual property does not infringe the rights of any third parties.
Section 6 - Procedure for Dealing with a Copyright Work when a Staff Member Ceases University Employment
(28) Where the University owns a copyright work created by a staff member who is about to leave the employment of the University, the staff member will do all things necessary to ensure that the University's intellectual property in the copyright work is retained and protected, including by:
- complying with the University's reasonable instructions;
- ensuring that the copyright work remains with and is accessible by the University; and
- ensuring that the copyright work is not used by the staff member after leaving the employ of the University, except with the written consent of the University.
(29) The staff member who is leaving the employment of the University may request a licence of the intellectual property in the copyright work. The University reserves the right to grant a licence on conditions, or to not grant a licence if University purposes would be adversely affected.
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Section 7 - Procedure for Student Participation in University Projects
(30) Where a student participates in a project or activity that is specified in Section 6 of the Intellectual Property Policythe University will:
- enter into an agreement with the student setting out an appropriate entitlement of the student to any net returns of commercialisation;
- ensure that the academic progress of the student is not hindered by the provisions of the Intellectual Property Policy;
- ensure that the examination of their thesis is not affected by the provisions of the Intellectual Property Policy without the express consent of the student; and
- ensure that the student is advised to seek independent legal advice before entering into any agreement concerning intellectual property created by the student in the course of their studies.
(31) An agreement between the University and a student entered under this Section will address at a minimum:
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- the terms on which access to University IP will be given;
- intellectual property ownership;
- confidentiality requirements;
- terms governing any potential commercialisation; and
- any requirements concerning intellectual property at the end of the student's enrolment.
Section 8 - Advising Staff Members and Students of Their Rights and Obligations and Protection the Rights of Students
(32) The University will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the provisions of the Intellectual Property Policy and Procedure are made known to staff members and students, including through:
- induction and training programs, educational seminars, enrolment handbooks and other published material for staff members and students and through the University's website;
- specific inclusion in supervisor training programs; and
- information sessions for students at the time of application for candidature and enrolment.
(33) In any dealings in which students are asked to assign their intellectual property to the University, the University will assist students to protect their intellectual property by:
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- ensuring that students are advised to seek independent legal advice before entering into any agreement concerning assignment of their intellectual property;
- referring to the Knowledge Exchange & Enterprise team any students seeking advice about the operation of the Intellectual Property Policy and Procedure; and
- referring students to the Intellectual Property Policy and Procedure to ensure students can inform themselves about their rights and obligations in relation to intellectual property; including updating the available information during the course of the enrolment where there are any changes to the Intellectual Property Policy and Procedure.
Section 9 - Dispute Resolution
(34) Subject to clause 37, a staff member, student or other person having a dispute with the University arising out of the operation of this policy, should refer to the following to seek a resolution:
- for staff, the Resolving Workplace Concerns and Grievances Procedure; and
- for students and other persons, the University's Complaint Management Policy.
(35) If an Originator is unable to reach agreement with the University with respect of the disbursement of net returns, the Originator should first seek resolution of their complaint or grievance using the appropriate mechanisms referred to in clause 37 above. If they are unable to resolve their complaint or grievance, the matter will be determined by an independent expert nominated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation).
(36) The University's Complaints Manager may be consulted for assistance in relation to any complaint or dispute arising from the operation of this policy.