IP Principles at UTAS

The University of Tasmania (UTAS) seeks to drive innovative and useful outcomes for industry, society and the environment through the application of science and research. To maximise the impacts of that research it seeks the widest possible take-up of the potential benefits.

As the management of intellectual capital will vary from institution to institution the purpose of this document is to outline a set of principles that relate to how UTAS manages its IP in order to generate impact through the up-take, application and licensing of intellectual capital.

Intellectual property (IP) protection and management are strategic tools which can be used to maximise the impact of UTAS' research outcomes.

In managing its intellectual capital assets, UTAS will normally seek to identify and protect intellectual property that will support the achievement of impacts aligned with the University's strategy and the Acts that govern its activities.

This may include protecting intellectual property to facilitate follow on investment or technology adoption, or protecting intellectual property that may be used as a platform for multiple applications in such a way as to encourage collaboration and commercial uptake.

Developing the University's IP strategy, negotiating commercial arrangements and managing IP is the responsibility of the Office of Research Services (ORS). Where third party organisations and/or industry have an existing relationship with research staff at UTAS, ORS will proactively include and liaise with those staff during the development of a transaction, however researchers are not delegated to develop or enter into agreements with third parties. Appropriately delegated officers within ORS will be assigned to work with you.

UTAS will manage its intellectual property strategically. This will translate to IP strategies that preserve greater choice in the future, including the consideration of options for making that IP freely or widely available.

In structuring IP ownership and access arrangements, UTAS will generally seek to protect its IP broadly but in a fashion which affords us the ability to offer our partners the opportunity to exploit IP in fields and jurisdictions where they have demonstrated ability and capacity, but not further.

UTAS is cognisant however of the commercial expectation of our partners which fund our research, in relation to the extent of intellectual property rights (IPR) that they secure for sponsored research.

UTAS will work in good faith to identify equitable arrangements that recognises;

  • The party best placed to own and/or manage the IPR
  • The expectation to provide appropriate access to IPR in the fields and jurisdictions in which the respective partners are diligently operating.
  • The extent of a partner's financial contribution relative to the cost to carrying out the research.
  • An expectation that UTAS will develop and grow a portfolio of IP assets that improves its competiveness as a preferred research partner across multiple industries.
  • The market-place for the IPR in question.

We will be transparent in our approach to IP management and policies. Our dealings in IP will be consistent with building our reputation as a high-quality research organisation. UTAS has obligations to comply with government policies and international protocols including respecting the IP rights of others.

  1. Our primary purpose in generating and transferring knowledge is to achieve impact.
  2. We will strive to choose the best knowledge transfer path to maximise impact. These pathways include public dissemination, exclusive or non-exclusive licensing, assignment or reciprocal agreements to increase collaboration and access to third party Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).
  3. We seek to ensure that dealings and agreements with third parties appropriately preserve and protect IP, and provide a sound governance framework for IP decision making.
  4. Ownership and control of IP should generally vest with the party best placed to manage the intellectual property across the full scope of the technology and its potential utilisation.
  5. If we agree to enter into IP co-ownership arrangements, the contract will include a governance framework regulating the exercise of all relevant components of the IP and addressing the allocation of IP costs.
  6. Where the IP is expected to generate commercial returns, we generally expect a reasonable and proportionate return in exchange for access rights.
  7. We will retain sufficient intellectual property access rights to enable the conduct of further research.
  8. We respect the IP of others but support the principle of exemptions for research use.
  9. We will preserve the right enforce our IPR and contractual rights in a manner consistent with the Governance arrangements of the University.
  10. In the context of maximising the impact of our research efforts we will endeavour to ensure that intellectual property and knowledge is made available for humanitarian uses and the public good. In further developing these principles and related protocols we will seek to work with our national and global peers within the research community to promote a common approach to the management of intellectual capital.