Intellectual Property

College of Suffolk have a number of policies and procedures in place with regard to the ownership and commercialisation of intellectual property.


This leaflet summarises the College policy and procedures1 regarding the ownership and commercialisation of intellectual property (IP) and the sharing of income with College staff, post-graduate students and others who generated the IP.

What is IP?

IP is defined as any invention and other IP that is created by academic, research and other College staff (full-time or part-time) in the course of their employment or by post-graduate students in the course of their education or by consultants or others in the course of research, development, teaching, consultancy and other intellectual activity carried out for College.

Who owns the IP?

The Policy augments the United Kingdom statutory provisions governing the ownership of intellectual property rights. The ownership of IP rests with the College. Under the terms the College owns all copyright in works created by its employees in the course of their employment.

How to Disclose IP?

All inventions, software and other IP which has commercial potential must be disclosed on a timely basis to College through the Intellectual Property Advisory Committee. The disclosure shall be made using the Invention Disclosure Form.

How is IP Assigned?

The creators of IP assign the IP to College or to any person or organisation designated by the college. In making such an assignment the assignees shall declare the names of co-inventors or of anyone known to them who may have a claim on the rights to the IP3.

How is Income from Commercialisation of IP Distributed?

College shares royalty1 and other income earned from the commercialisation of IP (excluding income earned from equity in spin-out companies) with the creators of the IP. The income distributed is net of the direct expenses incurred by College in the protection and commercialisation of the IP.

75% of net income actually received by College will be paid to the creators of the intellectual property

If more than one party is involved in the creation of the IP, the division of payments between the parties will be based on their relative intellectual contributions as outlined in the Invention Disclosure Form.

What is the College’s Policy on the publication of Research Results?

It is College’s policy to encourage staff and post-graduate students to place the results of their research in the public domain either through publication in learned journals or presentation at conferences. In accordance with long-standing academic tradition, College does not and will not assert ownership of copyright in scholarly publications, books or artistic works of its employees unless there is an agreement to the contrary or patent pending. However, it must be recognised that premature publication or disclosure4 except on a confidential basis may make it impossible to obtain valid patent protection.

What Support is Available from College?

•College through the Intellectual Property Advisory Committee assists researchers in the formal disclosure and assignment of IP.

• Where there is potential for commercial exploitation, the IPA Committee will seek protection for the IP by patenting or other means.

• College works with the creator of the IP in commercialisation of the IP typically through licensing to established or spin-out companies.

• College also provides access to incubation facilities and other support for spin-out companies.