Patent Policy for Students

The University Patent Policy is applicable to students as well as to faculty and staff. Like faculty and staff, students’ creativity is enhanced by their exposure to the resources (both physical and intellectual) of the University. The University’s contribution to that creativity is reflected in the Patent Policy, which provides that inventions will be owned by the University rather than by the individual inventor. The University will, however, disclaim ownership of student inventors’ rights as follows.

A student will be deemed to own his or her invention unless it is created:

  1. under a sponsored research or other third-party agreement; or
  2. within the scope of faculty-supervised graduate thesis or dissertation work; or
  3. pursuant to contract work or employment with the University, or an agreement with the University that provides for University ownership; or
  4. with the significant use of University resources.  Significant use of University resources does not include:
    (a) participation in University courses; or
    (b) minimal use of unrestricted Yale funds; or
    (c) use of commonly available facilities such as student shops, libraries or other general purpose facilities.

In the case of student-owned inventions, the University retains the right to practice the invention for non-commercial research and educational purposes.

In the case of University-owned inventions, i.e., those created by a student under any of the conditions 1 through 4, royalties from the University’s licensing of any invention made by a student will be shared with the student Inventor pursuant to the Patent Policy.

All patentable inventions that may potentially be owned by the University under the Patent Policy, including this Patent Policy for Students, must be disclosed to the Office of Cooperative Research.