The University of Illinois Office of University Counsel

Intellectual Property

"Intellectual Property" can encompass any form of creativity, such as inventions, processes, computer software, research tools, artistic works, know-how, and unique materials. Depending upon the underlying subject matter, intellectual property protection may be available by virtue of patent, copyright, trademark and/or trade secret laws, or not available at all. More detailed guidance on intellectual property can be found in the Handbook for Inventors and Innovators.

University personnel and students generate many creative inventions, artistic works, etc. Ownership and rights to intellectual property are determined in accordance with applicable law and the University's intellectual property policy, acceptance of which is a condition of University employment. In addition, University agreements with external parties may affect ownership and rights to intellectual property.

The Office of University Counsel advises the University's Offices of Technology Management, research administration offices, and other units on intellectual property terms in such agreements, interprets and provides advice on applicable laws and policies, and retains outside patent counsel to obtain patent protection on selected University inventions.

The Office of University Counsel also advises the Offices of Technology Management on transferring University intellectual property and tangible research property. For more information, see our linked section entitled Technology Transfer.

OTMFor more information on ownership and rights to intellectual property arising from University activities or activities performed using University facilities or resources, see Article III of the University's General Rules Concerning University Organization and Procedure. If you have further questions about intellectual property rights or ownership, please first contact the Urbana or UIC OTM.