The Intellectual Property Team can provide support for your IP application from start to finish. Here are some of the types of support that we provide.
If you think that some research may have commercial value – please talk to the Intellectual Property Team about it before disclosing it to external people, or preparing to publish it.
If you have an idea or piece of research which appears to you to have commercial potential, we can assist you. Please contact the Intellectual Property Team for an initial discussion. We will then make an assessment – including checking the novelty of the idea, size of potential markets, competition, patentability, etc, and report back to you.
The University may decide to protect your invention by patenting. If there is a clear commercial case, the University will fund the patent process at no cost to you. Patenting is not possible if the invention has been already disclosed (for example in a paper, or in discussions with someone external to the inventing team). For more information visit the UK Intellectual Property Office.
The University earns money from inventions by licensing them to external organisations, who pay for a licence to use the IP commercially. We retain the rights for the inventors to continue to use the invention for academic research, teaching and publications. We do the work of identifying potential licensees and lead the commercial negotiations. Any resulting licence revenue is normally shared with the inventors as detailed above.
In some cases we may form a spinout company and license IP to it, when we think that this is the best route to maximise further development of the IP. The University usually funds company formation and legal documentation, and normally the shares in the spinout company are owned by the inventors and the University.