Graduate students should understand the intellectual property implications associated with their projects and how it might impact their research at Clemson and beyond. Academic research can result in IP that has scientific merit but may also have significant commercial value.
Intellectual property generally involves intangible rights associated with inventions, software, written/artistic works, plant varieties, logos, brand names and proprietary knowledge. Depending on the research area or scientific discipline, these forms of IP can arise out of projects either singularly or in combinations.
Clemson has certain ownership rights in IP developed under university sponsored projects and those that involve substantial use of university resources. Under Clemson's IP policy, graduate students are typically obligated to assign their rights in that IP to the university.
Graduate students should review and discuss IP implications with their faculty advisors and research teams. If new IP Is being developed, a disclosure to CURF may be warranted. Through CURF's invention disclosure process, Clemson creators can submit new inventions, software, written works and plant varieties for CURF to review.
Typically, IP should be submitted to CURF prior to any public disclosures. This will give CURF enough time to evaluate and determine the appropriate form of IP protection that is needed. Student contributions will be reviewed to determine whether the legal requirements for inventorship or authorship are met.
Outside of Clemson, graduate students can continue to experience the impact of their IP efforts even after they leave Clemson. In cases where a graduate student is a named inventor or author and CURF successfully protects and commercializes a graduate student invention, the student can share in a portion of the licensing revenue generated based on his/her contribution.
Students will also find that the protective rights associated with patents and copyrights can provide a significant commercial advantage to their new employers and can provide a significant boost to the advancement of their careers.
For more information please see the following links or reach out to CURF via our Inquiry Intake Form for more information.