Patent Policy (Statute 18)
18.1. The basic policies of The University of Chicago include complete freedom of research and the unrestricted dissemination of information. While the traditional method of dissemination of the results of academic work is through publication in scholarly or other public media, developments having commercial potential often arise in the course of University research or other activities. For the benefit of the University, the inventor or creator, and the public, the University endeavors to bring the products of research to practical implementation. Where research or other activities carried out at the University, or with substantial aid of its facilities or funds administered by it, result in inventions, discoveries, or device-like software, such intellectual property shall be disclosed to the University, and shall be the property of the University from inception. The inventor or creator shall agree in writing to notify the University promptly of any such intellectual property and to assign to the University all of his or her rights, title and interests in such intellectual property, in the form of a present assignment of future rights. The inventor or creator shall comply with the University’s request that he or she perfect the University’s ownership of the intellectual property by execution of a recordable assignment of the intellectual property to the University, or to an organization designated by the University. The University, acting directly or through its designee, shall endeavor to license or assign such intellectual property in a manner that benefits the University and the public, and provides a return to the inventor or creator. The inventor or creator shall be consulted and kept informed of the arrangements. The conditions for the disposition of intellectual property rights shall be consistent with:
- the basic policies of the University,
- the terms of sponsorship of activities that led to the intellectual property, and
- the requirements of law and professional ethics.
18.2. Where neither the University nor its designated organization wishes to retain the rights to the intellectual property, and the conditions of sponsorship so permit, the inventor or creator may be allowed to obtain the rights, and to obtain patents, at the expense and for the benefit of the inventor or creator, but in any event the customary processes of academic publication will be utilized for the benefit of the scholarly and general public.
18.3. This §18 does not apply in any situation where the Illinois Employee Patent Act or other law does not permit the University to require that rights be assigned to it. In any situation where the inventor or creator retains rights under this §18, the inventor or creator may offer to assign the intellectual property to the University or its designee, upon such terms as may be agreed upon.
18.4. Procedures to implement the foregoing shall be developed and administered by the Office of Technology and Intellectual Property under the direction of the President or his or her designee.
To read this Statute in context, please see the University of Chicago's Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and Statutes found here. Note that the Statutes do change, and the current edition (dated May 30, 2018) differs from older versions and will likely differ from versions yet to be approved.