Intellectual property rights ('IPR')

Intellectual property rights ('IPR')

What is intellectual property?
What does IP have to do with my research?
Who owns the rights to my work?
How does copyright relate to IPR?
Can copyright stop me reusing material for my research?
Further reading
Who can help me with IPR at Glasgow?

What is intellectual property?

Intellectual property ('IP') rights grant creators or owners of a work certain controls over its use. Some rights require registration (e.g. patents), while others accrue automatically upon the work's creation (e.g. copyright).

The University has an Intellectual Property and Commercialisation Policy which outlines the ownership of IP for research and teaching materials and procedures for commercialisation. 

Intellectual property can involve know-how, inventions, results, copyright, patents, trademarks and software. The University's Intellectual Property Basics webpage gives examples of each of these.

What does IP have to do with my research?

Intellectual property rights ('IPR') allow you to be identified as the creator of your work, and can protect your research by controlling the copying or exploitation of it.

The Research Strategy & Innovation office (RSIO) office provides several reasons to protect research outputs and provides assistance to do this. To get started on your intellectual property protection, submit an invention disclosure form to RSIO.

Remember: research funders often expect you to clarify IPR at the grant proposal stage in your data management plan.

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Who owns the rights to my work?

  IP ownership varies for University staff and students.  

Research Strategy & Innovation office provides a useful summary of ownership of IP by role and a IPR flowchart is available.

Staff

The University owns IP generated by University staff in the course of or incidental to their employment, including teaching or university materials.  Ownership may, in part, be determined by the terms and conditions of any external funding.

The University waives its rights to ownership of any copyright in scholarly materials, except in relation to any work created by an employee of the University whose job description specifically includes the creation of printed or electronic materials.

Students
The University does not automatically own intellectual property developed by students.

Students will generally own the IP they develop during the course of their studies unless ownership is governed in some way by a third party agreement.  Examples include research contracts, studentship and funding agreements.

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How does copyright relate to IPR?

Copyright is an IPR which covers the expression of an idea rather than the idea itself.  It protects the owner from any copying without authorisation.  Most research materials such as publications and spreadsheets are covered by copyright because they are considered to be literary works.

The content of a database can also be covered by copyright, and database right may apply if there has been significant intellectual investment in the way the database is structured.

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Can copyright stop me re-using material for my research?

You should always seek permission from copyright holders before re-using their work.

Depending on the nature of your research, you may find that copyright has expired for the data you need, making it available for use.  JISC Legal provides guidance on the duration of copyright for each type of work.

You may also find material which the creator has marked as freely available for re-use.  For example, they may have applied a Creative Commons licence or deposited in a data centre with an open access policy.  Read the copyright statement carefully to check whether you can use the material.  If in doubt, contact the creator.

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Further reading

Research Strategy & Innovation office Intellectual Property guidance pages [WEB, c. 6 pages]
Guidance pages covering Intellectual Property basics, ownership of IP and how and why to protect research outputs.

JISC Legal Copyright and IPR guidance [WEB, c. 10 pages]
Detailed legal guidance on copyright and IPR. There’s a 6 page overview and links several studies and publications in this area.

Strategic Content Alliance IPR toolkit [PDF, 122 pages, 4MB]
A very detailed manual explaining how different types of licence suit particular content types and contexts. There are lots of case studies, practical examples and templates to help users understand how licences can be applied.

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Who can help me with IPR at Glasgow?

Please contact Dr Alistair Street, Research Strategy and Innovation Office, with any queries about IP and copyright. 

Email: alasdair.street@glasgow.ac.uk

Telephone: +44 (0)141 330 2623 / ext 2623

 

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