Yale University has amended its Student Patent Policy to spotlight and better support student innovation. The updated policy clarifies that students who invent at the university will retain the rights to their technologies. Exceptions include inventions made under a sponsored research agreement; those made within faculty-supervised graduate thesis or dissertation work; those made as part of contract work for Yale; or inventions made using significant university resources. Students who invent within a Yale course, who use minimal Yale funds or who use facilities like student shops or libraries are still eligible to retain the rights to their innovations.
“We’re hoping the new policy will help alleviate any anxiety that students may have about their ability to create new inventions with some degree of faculty involvement, to work on them at university facilities and retain ownership, says Jon Soderstrom, managing director of Yale’s patent-managing Office of Cooperative Research.
“We expect that innovative students will seek expertise and advice from faculty members,” Soderstrom adds. “Under the new policy, that kind of support wouldn’t deprive the students of their rights to their inventions.”
The move is partially the result of a request made in February last year by a group of faculty members and students from Yale’s engineering and computer science schools, addressed to the chair of the university’s Committee on Cooperative Research. The group expressed concern that the existing Student Patent Policy might stifle innovation by making excessive claims to student intellectual property.
After reviewing the policies at peer institutions like MIT and Stanford, the committee recommended that Yale adopt more welcoming language that is more selective about what circumstances would warrant the school’s retaining student intellectual property.
Source: Yale OCR