Did you know Google was a spin off from a university research innovation? The founders of Google had invented the Google algorithm as part of their dissertation work during their PhD at Stanford University. Lately, there has been a steady rise in the number of startups that grow out of university-sourced innovations; hence several universities have started incorporating policies for such joint collaborations between startups and universities.
image credit: Shutter StockThere are several situations from which joint research collaborations may arise from a university.
Ownership of IP varies with the above situations. However, before discussing ownership and rights of intellectual property, let’s understand its relevance in decision making.
Background IP is generated before the joint research collaboration
Foreground IP is generated during the research collaboration
Postground IP is generated in a certain time span after the collaboration
Sideground IP is generated during the collaboration phase but in non-project related activities
All the above IPs include patents, know-how, and trade secrets.
How should these IP rights be governed between the university and start-up? It is regulated by various clauses in an agreement for joint research, advisory, spin-off, etc. Some of the clauses may include the following:
It is suggested that the expectations should be set correct between both the parties, according to the effort and investments made by each of them, so as to create a win-win situation for both. Surely, the academia provides specific expertise and infrastructure which can optimize costs and improve innovation to help the startup in providing cost-effective and competitive products.
About the authors:
This post is co-authored by Gaurav Singhal and Ananya Dhuddu. Gaurav is the Director and Principal IP Attorney at Patracode Services Pvt Ltd. A B.Tech in Computer Science, LLB from IIT-Kharagpur and Masters in Business Laws from National Laws School of India University, Gaurav has been working in the IPR field since many years. Ananya Dhuddu is an IP Analyst at Patracode Services Pvt. Ltd. She is a Life Sciences graduate from Pennsylvania State University, USA. She holds a PG Diploma in Medical Law and Ethics from National Law School of India University, Bangalore and a PG Diploma in IPR and Patent Management from GIIP, Bangalore.