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Intellectual property

Doing business with the University of ý intellectual property (IP)

UOW is known as a business-friendly organisation

At UOW, we are looking for ways to diversify our research pathways, discover new applications for research outcomes, understand industry needs to drive future research, and increase industry networks and engagement to benefit our researchers, students and our industry partners.

We are focused on growing our research

Except where the IP created is of no research interest (for example, in many consultancy agreements), at UOW we will seek IP arrangements which allow our researchers to access the IP created to grow our research.

We look for positive business outcomes

Our IP position is business friendly and recognises that businesses must have the IP rights they need to undertake their business. Positive business outcomes demonstrate research impact.

We want to maximise the impact from our research

If you, as a business, make limited use of the IP created in a project, then we may seek to reduce the breadth of the commercial rights granted, for example by limiting the “field” or “territory”. This allows for non-competing business partners to also access and create impact from the IP, whilst not affecting your own business competitiveness. To make this work, it is often preferable for UOW to be the IP owner, ensuring our business partners have the rights they need.

Sometimes ownership of the IP by the business may increase the research impact, for example where a startup needs to own the IP as an asset to raise finance or where the research IP created builds on significant background IP already owned by the business.

The University seeks clear and lasting impact from the use of IP it has created. Transfer of IP ownership to a startup may be risky, since if the startup is unsuccessful the opportunity to create impact from the IP may be lost. It is usual practice for a startup to initially receive a licence to use the IP, with IP ownership being transferred as an option to the company once specific milestones, such as fund-raising milestones, have been met.

If you are a startup, financing organisations usually accept this position, so that you can capitalise on the option provided, to raise funding you need.

We are aligned to the national principles of IP management

At UOW we aim to approach our management of intellectual property in a way which aligns with the National Principles of IP Management for Publicly Funded Research. Some grants which we may apply for, with you as our partner, require a specific IP position to be adopted. For example, ARC and NHMRC require adherence to the Principles under which the administering research organisation initially owns the IP.

We want our agreements to be fair

At UOW, we seek to reach a fair position in our IP negotiations. Where research is collaborative or where UOW is contributing significant background IP, in-kind or cash to a research project, then we will look to agree terms which will provide UOW with a fair share of future commercialisation revenues.

We share our success

UOW shares net commercialisation returns with our researchers who are creating the IP.  This is positive for business, as it encourages researchers to maintain an active interest in the commercial success of the IP and drives an interest in building research ties with the business.


Ready to collaborate? Contact us


Innovation and Commercial Research Unit, Level 1 Mike Codd Building, Innovation Campus