Intellectual Property (IP) commercialisation by UK universities (the so-called ‘technology transfer’) is a fundamental driving force behind entrepreneurship and job creation. But often the lack of guidance from universities correlated with badly written and/or not readily available university IP policies may lead to a lack of entrepreneurial drive both from students and staff.
We have set out to investigate and rank how UK universities approach the ownership* and management of the IP developed by their students**. The investigation was based both on published, hence readily available, university IP policies and on IP policies which have been supplied, upon request, by the universities under investigation. The ranking was compiled based on students’ ease of access to their university’s IP policy, but also on the clarity (or lack) of the IP ownership criteria stipulated by the IP policy.
The ranking has highlighted a wide range of variations which rendered it necessary to group the policies into 5 tiers. The top tiers have highlighted the universities which have made their IP policies readily available and have put a lot of effort into thinking through what their IP policy should be from a student’s perspective. The bottom tiers have exposed those universities which do not have clear IP provisions for students and which could potentially / deliberately appropriate students’ IP or make the students’ IP position ambiguous. The very last tier exposed the universities which either did not have an IP policy in place, nor were they able to supply an IP policy upon request.
This first published UK University IP Ranking is intended to encourage dialogue with both universities and students. The data for the IP Policies was collected up until early November 2018. We acknowledge that policies and accessibility may have changed subsequently, resulting in universities moving to another tier. Therefore, if you are representing a university, please feel free to sign-up on the website menu https://www.ip-rank.co.uk/sign-up/ where you can upload your Student IP Policy and indicate whereabouts on your website it can be found. We will spend until the end of October 2019 collecting data and engaging in dialogue such that in early 2020, we can publish the next IP Ranking list based on your feedback and our findings.
Search by University
Tier 1 21 Universities
Tier 2 59 Universities
Tier 3 39 Universities
Tier 4 16 Universities
An IP policy exists, but within multiple (un-related to IP) documents; to understand the IP policy in full (including IP ownership) one must cross-reference the documents; and often it is ambiguous as to which document takes priority in the case of conflicting information.
There is no IP policy written specifically for students; and it is obvious that wording relating to students has simply been appended to a staff IP policy.
There is ambiguity, the university does not offer a ‘default’ position, but rather only discusses cases where they own the IP; quite often situations where the university states they own the IP are very general, so much so a reader may believe the university always owns student generated IP, when this is not the case.
A given policy only discusses a subset of student types (for example, only research students) or only discusses a subset of IP rights (for example, only copyright).
Tier 5 20 Universities
responded to advise that they had no student focused IP policy in place or the IP policy is under revision, hence not available to share,
did not respond to the request for the provision of an IP policy