Intellectual Property

  • What is intellectual property? Such things as literary, scientific, and artistic works, inventions in all fields of human endeavour, scientific discoveries, industrial designs.
  • Recently, several students have complained to the UTGSU that their research had been published by their supervisors. Particularly vulnerable are science and engineering students nearing the end of their completion times. Once out of the lab, some supervisors think their student’s research is fair game.
  • Sometimes this happens even before students have left their program. The contents of student academic papers have been presented by supervisors at conferences and patents, rightfully the property of the student, have been obtained in the supervisor’s name.
  • Don’t expect your supervisor to steal your research, but a little caution is in order. There are grey areas, and some well-intentioned supervisors appropriate their students work with a clear conscience.
  • Some problems can be avoided by discussing with your supervisor such questions as who owns what, who has rights to co-authorship on what specific areas for publication, and who would enter into potential patent agreements with the university. Better to solve these issues BEFORE a problem arises.
  • SGS has prepared a document of guidelines for graduate students. There is a lot of useful information in it, but beware, it is often left to the supervisor to decide ownership questions. See the SGS Intellectual Property webpage for more information.