COMEC: Patents

Rensselaer's Intellectual Property Policy applies to faculty, students, staff and others participating in Rensselaer programs and identifies individual as well as Institutional rights and responsibilities.

  • Individual rights: inventors own their ideas as long as they are not subject to terms of agreement with research sponsors or others and do not involve significant use of Rensselaer-administered resources. Inventions meeting these criteria are encouraged to be protected by the inventor at the inventors expense. Inventors of Institution owned patents have a right to a percentage of the royalties generated.
  • Individual responsibilities: all members of the Rensselaer community must avoid patent infringement and are individually liable for infringement of inventor owned ideas. A competent "infringement search" is a necessary step in this avoidance and may be done by a patent agent. Inventors involved in Institution owned patents are required to disclose their ideas using the Invention Disclosure Record.
  • Institutional rights: Rensselaer acquires ownership or other rights in inventions if the invention is subject to the terms of sponsored research or other agreements or if the invention involves the "significant use" of Rensselaer-administered resources. Criteria for ownership are outlined in the Intellectual Property Policy. Royalty from successful commercialization is shared with the inventors and their centers or departments.
  • Institutional responsibility: Rensselaer maintains an Office of Technology Commercialization to help citizens with potential patents and the commercialization of those patents. This Office provides a number of Technology Commercialization Services to the inventor, including technology evaluation and support for the patent application process.

Want more help?

From Rensselaer: Intellectual Property Policy from the Office of Technology Commercialization

From elsewhere: Avoiding Patent, Copyright & Trademark Problems