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Reg. 28 Intellectual Property Rights

Regulation Governing Intellectual Property Rights

(1) Principles

(a) These Regulations set out the University’s position on the ownership of creative output from the University, any intellectual property in it and the responsibilities of those who create it.

(b) The purpose of these Regulations is to enable the University (as appropriate):

(i) to develop, disseminate and/or exploit creative output in accordance with the University’s purposes

(ii) to own, manage and protect the rights in creative output from the University

(iii) to encourage innovation and the development of new ideas by anyone associated with the University

(iv) to enable the University to meet its charitable objects.

(2) Creative output and other materials

(a) Creative output from the University may include a broad variety of novel ideas, methods, inventions, processes or works which may be literary, artistic, scientific, industrial, commercial and/or of an engineering nature. Usually, this will also be something that may enhance the reputation of the University and/or anyone who created it. These are referred to as “Creative Output” in these Regulations. It is not possible to list every kind of Creative Output, but a non‑exhaustive list includes the following:

(i) inventions (whether patentable or not)

(ii) methods, protocols, operating processes and procedures and similar materials

(iii) registered and unregistered designs

(iv) trade marks (whether registered or unregistered) and rights of passing off

(v) plant breeders rights and plant variety rights

(vi) semiconductor topography rights

(vii) rights in databases

(viii) software, firmware, computer hardware and related material

(ix) any works generated by or using computer hardware and/or software owned by or licensed to the University

(x) videos, photographs (digital or otherwise) and films

(xi) sound recordings

(xii) broadcast and/or cable programmes

(xiii) digital media and multimedia files

(xiv) works made with the aid of University equipment and/or facilities

(xv) the output of research and results in any format

(xvi) reports for sponsors/funders

(xvii) anything created specifically in relation to externally sponsored/funded projects

(xviii) works Specifically Commissioned

(xix) any know-how and/or information relating to the list above

(xx) Course Materials.

(b) Specifically Commissioned means specifically commissioned by the University, whether for special payment or not.

(c) Creative Output will not include the following works (except where Specifically Commissioned):

(i) Scholarly Works:

(A) text and artwork for publication in books, (with the exception of text and/or artwork essential to the use and/or exploitation of University Creative Output)

(B) papers, posters and/or oral presentations for conferences;

(C) articles prepared for submission to journals

(D) papers and abstracts

(E) theses

(F) dissertations

(G) plays

(H) lyrics

(I) musical scores.

 (ii) Teaching Materials: 

(A) lecture notes and preparatory materials

(B) audio and/or visual aids for teaching

(C) reading lists

(D) lecture handouts or other materials provided to students

(E) other materials for face to face student teaching. 

(3) Who the Regulations apply to?

(a) These Regulations apply to anyone who creates Creative Output, Scholarly Works or Teaching Materials, referred to in these Regulations as a Creator.

(b) Creators include (i) Employees; (ii) Other Creators; (iii) Students; (iv) External Contractors. How these Regulations apply to Creative Output from each of them is addressed below:

(i) Employees

(A) Creative Output made by any employees of the University (whether academic, administrative or otherwise) (“Employees”) and any intellectual property in it will be owned by the University if created:

(1) in the course of their University employment

(2) using equipment and/or facilities owned, used, lent, rented, leased or otherwise provided to the University

(3) using the creative or financial input of the University and/or

(4) in the course of duties falling outside normal duties, but specifically assigned to the employee by the University.

(ii) Other Creators

(A) The following people will also assign or licence to the University any intellectual property in Creative Output generated at the University. The appropriate University Office or Department will be responsible for ensuring that, where appropriate, arrangements are put in place to ensure that Other Creators abide by this regulation:

(1) emeritus professors

(2) secondees to the University

(3) honorary staff

(4) anyone engaged in teaching, study and/or research at the University that is:

(a) not employed by the University

(b) not registered as a student of the University; and/or

(c) not otherwise contracted to the University. 

(B) Examples of these Other Creators include:

(1) anyone on sabbatical from another organisation working at the University

(2) session lecturers

(3) visiting academic staff

(4) visiting researchers. 

(iii) Students

(A) Students at the University (including visiting students - whether formally registered or not) will be subject to these Regulations and they will assign to the University any Creative Output and intellectual property in it created by them:

(1) jointly with Employees and/or Other Creators and/or anyone carrying out research on a research-based course or during any research-based part of a course; and

(2) using equipment and/or facilities owned, used, lent, rented, leased or otherwise provided to the University; and

(3) in the course of research on a research-based course or during any research-based part of a course.

(iv) External Contractors

(A) The University will put in place procedures to ensure wherever practicable that contractors will assign or licence to the University any intellectual property in Creative Output developed by them where they collaborate with Employees, Other Creators and/or Students in the course of research on a research based course or where Specifically Commissioned. The appropriate University Office or Department will be responsible for ensuring that, where appropriate, arrangements are put in place to ensure that External Contractors abide by this regulation.

(c) The departure of an Employee, Other Creator, Student or External Contractor from the University will not alter their obligations under this Regulation.

(d) The University routinely transfers the ownership of copyright of Scholarly Works to the Creator of the work (except where Specifically Commissioned). Copyright in Scholarly Works is distinct from the assignment of any Creative Output intellectual property that it may contain. As an example, a student will own the copyright of their thesis, but the ownership rights of any Creative Output that may be described in the thesis and created as part of that research will be assigned to the University. 

(4) Teaching Materials, Scholarly Works, University records and Student created materials

(a) The University will not claim ownership of intellectual property in Scholarly Works or Teaching Materials created by Employees and/or Other Creators except where Specifically Commissioned.

(b) Creators of Teaching Materials and Scholarly Works will grant to the University a non‑exclusive royalty‑free right to use the Teaching Materials and Scholarly Works in perpetuity.

(c) Intellectual property in records, documents or papers relating to University finance and administration created by University employees will be owned by the University.

(d) Intellectual property in course materials produced for the purposes of the curriculum of a University course created by University employees will be owned by the University.

(e) Students will grant to the University a non-exclusive, royalty-free and perpetual right to copy and use any materials created by them in the course of their studies for those purposes required for the functioning of the University. These purposes shall include, but is not limited to, the following:

(i) inspection by internal or external examiners

(ii) teaching quality inspections

(iii) quality control purposes such as monitoring academic misconduct or breaches of University Regulations

(iv) prospectuses and provision of information to prospective students and staff

(v) disciplinary or grievance

(vi) teaching provision (including the provision of e-learning)

(vii) for legal, statutory, audit or regulatory requirements

(viii) teaching, assessment and examination

(ix) any other academic or proper purpose for the correct functioning of the University.

(5) Managing Creative Output

(a) The University may seek to exploit its Creative Output. This will be done at the University’s sole discretion and will follow Financial Procedures. Where this brings financial benefit to the University, the University will look to share this financial benefit with the relevant Creators as set out in Financial Procedures. Factors that the University may wish to consider may be the creative effort of the Creator(s) and the time, expertise and resources expended in relation to the Creative Output and its exploitation and commercialisation.

(b) Employees may (subject to their terms and conditions of employment) be permitted on occasion to carry out consultancy work outside of their employment and as is more particularly specified in Financial Procedure 10 –“Private Outside Work”. This will be permitted subject to specific written permission from the Vice-Chancellor (or other designated person). Where the consultancy work may rely on Creative Output owned or otherwise licensed to the University the use of such Creative Output and subsequent ownership of any new Creative Output potentially arising under each consultancy should be covered by an appropriate agreement and the University may require that Creative Output under a consultancy is owned by the University or that the University reserves certain rights in the Creative Output, for example for teaching and research purposes or otherwise.

(c) Where the University does anything that may create any Creative Output and this involves an external organization, such as another university, research council, funder, sponsor, commercial organization, government body or otherwise, then the University will ensure that appropriate processes are in place to ensure that rights in Creative Output are managed appropriately. This will normally require a written agreement governing the rights. Employees, Other Creators and Students will comply with the requirements in such arrangements.

(d) The University will look to respect moral rights in certain Creative Output as defined by law, but may require the author to waive moral rights where a waiver is required for the University to commercialise and/or disseminate Creative Output and/or the Creative Output has been Specifically Commissioned. For limited kinds of Creative Output, moral rights can give the creator the right to be named as the author and to object to derogatory treatment of the work. Moral rights do not apply to Creative Output made in the course of employment.

(e) Creators will:

(i) notify the appropriate University Office or Department as set out in the University Financial Procedures using the prescribed form at the earliest practicable opportunity of any Creative Output they produce themselves or with others

(ii) provide full details of the circumstances around the creation of Creative Output promptly as requested by the University

(iii) cooperate with the University in applying for and maintaining registered intellectual property protection in respect of Creative Output

(iv) not compromise the University’s rights in Creative Output

(v) keep Creative Output confidential and avoid premature disclosure of Creative Output - in particular certain intellectual property rights can be lost if Creative Output has been disclosed

(vi) not enter any steps towards the commercialisation of Creative Output without prior written authority from the appropriate University Office or Department as set out in the University Financial Procedures

(vii) comply with University Financial Procedures.

(viii) sign any applicable documents to confirm any assignment of intellectual property rights under these Regulations

(ix) if the Creator is or may be in a conflict of interest in respect of any Creative Output, refer to Financial Procedure 1.

(f) If the University decides that it will not exploit specific Creative Output and/or the intellectual property rights in it, the Creator may request an assignment of the intellectual property rights from the University to the Creator. Subject to the University’s sole discretion the University may agree to such assignment.

(g) The University wishes to encourage the use of digital archives and repositories, and in particular any repositories of the University. Subject to any rights properly given to any third party, Creators will give the University all necessary rights to place Creative Output, Teaching Materials or Scholarly Works in such digital archives and repositories. Creators may submit such materials to archives or repositories, provided that:

(i) it does not breach the intellectual property rights of any third party

(ii) it is not in breach of any duty or obligation of confidentiality

(iii) it does not prematurely disclose Creative Output (certain intellectual property rights can be lost through early disclosure)

(iv) any Creative Output has been notified in advance to the appropriate University Office or Department as set out in the University Financial Procedures as required under 5(e) above; and

(v) it does not compromise the University’s rights in Creative Output.

(6) Disputes

(a) In the case of a dispute between the University and a Creator or purported creator of Creative Output, Teaching Materials or Scholarly Work, in relation to either ownership or exploitation, or the sharing of revenue and/or this Regulation, the affected individual may refer the issue in writing to the Registrar. This does not preclude any student from referring any issue to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education in accordance with its rules.