Intellectual property

Intellectual Property (IP) is the product of thought, creativity and intellectual effort (inventions, designs, software, know-how).

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are the legal rights that protect and facilitate business in research outcomes. (Patents, Copyright, Trade Marks, Design). Birkbeck's position on the formal ownership of IPR is set out in the College's Financial Regulations

Intellectual property rights in research agreements

  • Birkbeck's Research Grants and Contracts Office handles contractual matters for externally funded academic research projects, including the review of terms and conditions of agreements with funders, including:
  • The examination and negotiation of contract conditions for accuracy and suitability, especially in the area of funding, access and use of data, publication rights, use of results, the agreement of student deeds of assignment of intellectual property rights where related to an externally funded research contract (usually required where a student works alongside a member of staff on a project which may give rise to exploitable results)

Developing and exploiting intellectual property

  • Birkbeck has signed an agency agreement with UCL Business (UCLB) for them to provide Birkbeck with advice on intellectual property matters:
    • To disseminate the importance of Intellectual Property (IP), its protection, commercialisation and potential return by meeting BBK staff and students, attending internal scientific meetings and increasing general awareness in this area.
    • To follow up and pursue potential inventions made by BBK staff as indicated from discussions with the inventors or as forwarded by BBK. Such inventions to be assessed by UCLB for protectability and commercial prospects, and with full consultation with the inventor(s) concerned. To obtain appropriate protection using external patent agents, with BBK's approval and at BBK's expense where it is considered commercially prudent.
    • To provide BBK staff with leads to relevant companies for commercialisation of IP that have been identified utilizing, where appropriate, UCLB's extensive network of contacts and companies.
    • To review, amend, draft and negotiate contracts between BBK and commercial companies arising from the commercialisation of BBK inventions (including, if required, any IP clauses in commercial research contracts). To act as the primary contact for the negotiation of BBK Technology with clients.
    • To negotiate licensing or other exploitation arrangements with clients with an appropriate share of income accruing to BBK.
    • To provide access for BBK staff, on an advisory basis, to experienced technology transfer professionals with relevant backgrounds.