I have an idea - what next?

Frequently asked questions about intellectual property

Members of staff, students, consultants or others who carry out work on behalf of the University or with the benefit of University resources or assets, leading to the relevant IP vesting in or being assigned or licensed to the University (see IP Policy), must notify the University of the creation of IP as soon as reasonably possible by completion of a confidential Innovation Disclosure Form (see Innovation Disclosure on the main Intellectual Property page). The information given on the form is confidential and is used only for the purpose of review, evaluation, risk management and/or seeking protection of the disclosed IP.

It is through the completion of the Innovation Disclosure Form that the University obtains details of IP, inventors, co-inventors, co-authors and other interested parties, and any restrictions on registration or commercialisation which may be contained in any collaborative agreements or funding conditions imposed by third parties. This then enables the Specialist IP advisors to consider the question of ownership and any barriers to or limitations on the commercialisation or registration (and any resulting impact on the value or ownership) of the IP.

In cases where multiple innovators are identified on the Innovation Disclosure Form or through subsequent discussions, an Originator's Form is available for the relevant individuals and any third parties to complete if they are willing to work with us to commercialise the IP. This then forms a useful starting point to establish an agreement for joint commercialisation as appropriate and the sharing of Net Revenue (see IP Policy) between those owners.

The Innovation Disclosure Form and the Originator’s Form are both available on these IP Matters web-pages. The University’s Specialist IP advisors (contact ipmatters@plymouth.ac.uk) are happy to provide assistance and guidance on how to complete the forms, or to advise on identification, ownership and commercialisation of IP generally.