Intellectual property

What is intellectual property?

Intellectual property, or IP, is a tangible representation of intellect and creativity. There are many different forms on IP, including copyright, trade marks, patents, registered designs etc.

If I invent something, does the IP belong to me or ANU?

As a general rule, ANU owns all intellectual property created by staff in the course of their employment with the University. See the ANU Intellectual property policy and IP protection and commercialisation procedure for further details.

What does the patenting process involve?

If it is appropriate to protect your idea, we may proceed with filing a patent.

A patent is a right that is granted for any device, substance, method or process that is new, inventive, and useful. Patent protection gives you the exclusive right to prevent others from commercially exploit your invention for the life of the patent.

In most cases, new discoveries need to be kept secret in order to achieve the maximum commercial benefits when taking the invention to market. While a patent is not required in order to exploit the market, having one prevents competitors from copying your idea.

The TTO oversees the patent application process, working closely with the inventor/s (you) and our external patent attorneys.

How is IP managed with students?

ANU does not assert ownership of IP created by students, so we generally recommend that students seek independent advice for management of their intellectual property, for example, through ANUSA’s free legal service. There are, however, certain circumstances where assignment of student IP may be required, for example, if the student created the IP using University IP. See the ANU Intellectual Property policy for further details.


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