New drugs, diagnostic tests or medical devices; mechanical devices, novel materials, many other types
Depends on circumstances, see Details below
The University has no ownership rights in discoveries created by a student solely for the purpose of satisfying course requirements, unless:
- the student creates the discovery with someone covered under CU’s Discoveries & Patents policy (faculty, employees)
- the student assigns ownership rights in the discovery to the university in writing; or
- assignment of such ownership rights to the university is required for participation in a course.
NOTE: in some undergraduate courses, such as senior design projects, etc., students may be required to assign their IP ownership rights to a company when a project involves collaboration with an industry partner. Please read these documents carefully, and consult your course instructor if you have any concerns.
2. Other Student Discoveries
The university will make no ownership claim on discoveries created by a student who is not employed by the university or has not used substantial university resources to develop IP, unless the student's work is part of a discovery in which the university already has an interest (through its faculty or employees).
A student who is employed by the university and who creates a discovery developed in the course of the assigned duties of their university employment will be bound by the Discoveries & Patents policy, and will be treated as an inventor under the policy.
A student who holds an award such as a scholarship or a fellowship through the university and who creates a discovery developed during the course of the award will be bound by the Discoveries & Patents policy, and will be treated as an inventor under the policy.
A student who creates a discovery by making substantial use of university resources will be bound by the Discoveries & Patents policy, and will be treated as an inventor under the policy. “Substantial use of university resources” means use of CU funds, programs, equipment, space or other physical assets that go above and beyond those customarily and currently provided to undergraduate students. Substantial use of University resources does not include (a) participation in University courses; or (b) use of unrestricted University of Colorado funds under $5,000; or (c) use of commonly available facilities such as student shops, libraries or other general purpose facilities.
A student who takes part in a discovery in which the university already has an interest through its faculty or employees will be bound by the Discoveries & Patents policy, and will be treated as an inventor under the policy.
If it’s unclear whether the university could have an ownership interest in your work, please contact the Technology Transfer Office for clarification:
CU-Boulder Tech Transfer Office
CU Denver Tech Transfer Office
CU Anschutz - CU Innovations
UCCS Tech Transfer Office
3. Distribution of Royalties
In cases where the university has an interest in discoveries created by a student, the student will be treated as an inventor under the Discoveries & Patents policy, and will be entitled to share in the distribution of royalties as provided in the policy. The lab share of any student covered by the policy will be directed to such student's supervisor's lab account; these funds should be directed to furthering the student inventor’s research for the duration of the student's involvement at CU.
If the university has an ownership interest in a student-created discovery as described above, commercialization will be managed by the Technology Transfer Office, including patent protection and licensing to an existing company or a startup company. Students are eligible to participate in startup companies commercializing university IP as founders, advisors and company management, but all startup companies licensing university IP must follow CU’s guidelines for startup companies. In the event that the Technology Transfer Office elects not to pursue commercialization of the discovery, the discovery may be offered for release to the inventors – upon completion of the release process, the inventors are free to commercialize the discovery as desired (but must still abide by CU licensing guidelines for use of any CU trademarks and logos).
If the university does not have an ownership interest in a student-created discovery, the student may request to opt in to the CU technology commercialization process through the Technology Transfer Office, which may grant this request at its discretion. This request must be sponsored by the student’s department. If accepted, the student will be required to assign ownership of the discovery to the university, the discovery will be managed as if it fell under the Discoveries & Patents policy, and the student will treated as an inventor under that policy.
If the university does not have an ownership interest in a student-created discovery, the student is free to sell or commercialize the discovery as desired (but must still abide by CU licensing guidelines for use of any CU trademarks and logos).
Learn more about technology transfer at CU.