Intellectual Property

The Office of Legal Affairs provides support and assistance to the University's colleges, departments and units when they are faced with issues relating to the creation, acquisition, ownership, protection and commercialization of intellectual property. Intellectual property describes a wide variety of intangible property created by people such as artists, authors, creators, inventors and writers. The law of intellectual property typically encompasses the areas of copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret, and know-how.

The University's Technology Commercialization Office has the primary responsibility to provide assistance to the University community in the identification, protection and commercialization of intellectual property.

Frequently Asked Questions

The most frequently asked questions regarding intellectual property:

Who owns the intellectual property ("IP") developed as a result of research at the University?

Ownership of IP created through research at the University may be determined by state law, federal law, University policy, and contract as applicable. The University's Intellectual Property Policy can be found at https://oied.osu.edu/intellectual-property-policy-updated-april-2018.

 

Ohio Revised Code § 3345.14 provides in part that all rights to and interests in discoveries, inventions, or patents which result from research or investigation conducted in any experiment station, bureau, laboratory, research facility, or other facility of any state college or university, or by employees of any state college or university acting within the scope of their employment or with funding, equipment, or infrastructure provided by or through any state college or university, shall be the sole property of that college or university. The federal Bayh-Dole Act allows universities to be the owners of intellectual property created through federally funded research activities (e.g., NIH, NSF, NCI).

 

 A portion of royalties from the licensing of the University's Intellectual Property Policy are distributed to the creator(s) according to the University's Intellectual Property Policy.

Who owns Scholarly and Artistic Works Created by Faculty Members?

As a general rule, the University's Intellectual Property Policy establishes that copyright rights to scholarly, instructional and artistic works are owned by the faculty creators, except in situations where a contract, law, or University policy provide otherwise. 

I am a Faculty Member; Do I call Legal Affairs to Review A Publishing Contract?

The Office of Legal Affairs does not represent University personnel in their personal legal matters. If, under applicable University policies, the University does not have an ownership interest in a scholarly work that a faculty creator wants to publish, then the Office of Legal Affairs will not review any publishing agreements for the scholarly work.

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