Ownership of Inventions at UBC

The term “Inventions” at UBC includes any invention or discovery; software, data, information, research tools, tangible materials, and know-how which are proprietary in nature.  Inventions may or may not be protected by Intellectual Property such as patents or copyright.  The term Inventions specifically excludes teaching materials, lecture notes, textbooks, music, films, plays, and other dramatic works, or writings that are scholarly in nature.

Who Owns IP and other proprietary materials at UBC?

UBC Policy LR11 (Inventions), determines the ownership and rights associated with Inventions created at UBC.  To summarize, under this Policy the ownership of Inventions varies depending on who created the Invention and under what circumstances the Invention was formed, per the table below:

Student Academic Product

Inventions created in the course of a student’s (non-thesis) coursework.

Rights and Ownership: The creator(s) of the invention, In accordance with applicable law.

External Activity Product

Any Invention, other than a Work Product, not created in the course of University Research.

Rights and Ownership: The creator(s) of the invention, In accordance with applicable law.

Sponsored Research Product

Any Invention created under a Sponsored Research Agreement.

Rights and Ownership: As determined by the terms of the relevant Sponsored Research Agreement.

University Research Product

Any Invention, other than a Student Academic Product or a Work Product, created in the course of University Research. University Research being research conducted at UBC using facilities, equipment, or funding provided by or administered by the University.

Rights and Ownership: Owned by UBC. The creators are granted a non-exclusive license to undertake non-commercial mobilization of such Products.

Work Product

Any Invention created in the course of a person’s employment with UBC if the person is required to create the intellectual product in the course of their employment.

Rights and Ownership: Owned by UBC. 


Under Policy LR11, in cases where an University Inventor wishes the University to consider the patenting, commercialization or other mobilization of a University Research Product, or where disclosure of a Sponsored Research Product is required by the relevant sponsored research agreement, the completion and filing with the UILO of an Invention Disclosure Questionnaire and Assignment Form is required. This form describes the invention or discovery and confirms assignment of any intellectual property rights to the University.

In return, the creators of the intellectual property are assigned a share of any proceeds arising from commercialization, and UBC assumes the costs of mobilizing the discovery. Under UBC Policy LR11, The University of British Columbia manages inventions arising from the research activities conducted at UBC or its affiliated research organizations. All new inventions which a researcher wishes to commercialize should be disclosed to the UILO who will manage the IP on behalf of UBC.

If the inventors merely wish to communicate or publish the results of the research but have no desire to commercialize resulting intellectual property (and they are not required by the terms of a sponsored research agreement to commercialize the invention) there is no requirement to disclose the invention to the University.

IP Developed at Another Institution

Researchers coming to UBC from another academic institution will often have ongoing sponsored research projects or intellectual property developed at their previous institution.

The UILO works with researchers and all related parties to ensure that the work of the researcher can continue will little disruption, establishing Inter-Institutional Agreements where necessary to ensure that projects, funding and intellectual property and managed in the most efficient manner.

If you are a researcher transferring to UBC, you are encouraged to contact us at the earliest opportunity to discuss the support you will require.

Brett Sharp, (604) 822-8588, brett.sharp@uilo.ubc.ca

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