Intellectual Property

Engagement in research at Notre Dame may result in the invention, discovery or otherwise creation of intellectual property (IP).

Ownership of IP is determined by the terms of Notre Dame’s Policy on IP. This internal university document presents a framework for the protection of IP-related products, data and procedures, and the entitlement of Notre Dame staff and students as creators of IP in a range of circumstances.

IP may be best described as the property of the mind or intellect. IP is defined as the ‘intangible property that attracts rights resulting from intellectual activity in the industrial, scientific, literary or artistic fields’ in the National Principles of Intellectual Property Management for Publicly Funded Research. This national policy document aligns with Notre Dame’s IP Policy by providing "access to best practices for the identification, protection and management of intellectual property” in the interest of national benefits and returns from public investment in research.

IP at academic institutions most commonly includes scientific discoveries and original literary, dramatic, artistic and musical works.

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) control the use of IP if protection from commercial exploitation is required or public availability is to be prevented. In Australia, the Copyright Act 1968 (Cwth) covers ownership rights and moral rights.

While IP ownership rights with or without economic impact are most often relevant to academic researchers, consideration of a researcher’s moral right of attribution to personal involvement in the work is equally important. Examples of IPR are copyright, patent, breeder’s rights and trademark, among others.

Application and implementation of Notre Dame’s IP Policy is important when commercialisation of research outcomes is considered. The Notre Dame IP Policy will provide direction in the assessment of IP ownership and revenue sharing, as well as the most suitable form of IPR to protect the IP. At Notre Dame, the Office of the Pro Vice Chancellor Research oversees IP-related matters.

Helpful information on IP considerations in research partnerships with industry is available in the IP Toolkit for Collaborations developed by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

For more information, please contact the Research Office.