Review/Revised Date: 08/15/2023
3.9 Ownership of Intellectual Property Rights (Patent Policy)
Intellectual property (IP) is any product of human intellect that the law protects from unauthorized use by others, and is traditionally divided into four categories: patents, copyrights (Section 3.10.1), trademarks (Section 3.10.2), and trade secrets. UAB faculty members are expected to comply with University policies regarding the creation, disclosure, and ownership of IP. Faculty members are obligated to report any such invention or discovery which they have authored, conceived, or developed as described below. Entrepreneurial and other IP development activities are encouraged by the University, demonstrate academic merit (Appendix E), but may require management for potential conflicts of interest or commitment (Section 3.11).
The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama Rule 509 is the University Patent Policy and governs the ownership and the administration of inventions and discoveries.
Other institutional policies, processes, and documents regulate the ownership of IP and include, but are not limited to, copyright (3.10), conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment (3.11), the Revenue Distribution Summary, and the UAB Patent Agreement. Those policies, processes, and documents also provide recognition and incentive to inventors and at the same time ensure that UAB shares in the rights pertaining to inventions in which it has an investment. Any income accruing to UAB is used in the furtherance of its academic mission.
Disclosure of discoveries and inventions are made to the UAB Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (HIIE) at the Disclosure of Intellectual Property website. Employees may not themselves assign or grant any option to any such intellectual property developed during the course of their employment.
Questions concerning intellectual property rights should be directed to the Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.