IP Policies at UTM

Publication Policy

The University of Toronto's publication policy affirms that UTM researchers, including faculty, staff and students, will always have the right to publish the results of their research activities, assuming that they do not disclose another’s confidential information in the content of the proposed publication. In some circumstances there may be a contractual agreement between the University and a research sponsor which may grant the sponsor the right to review or delay a proposed publication. Such a delay should not exceed twelve months and should not ordinarily apply to the publication of a graduate student’s thesis.

Copyright Policy

According to the copyright policy, in most circumstances the creator of a work owns the copyright for that work. If a work was created with a substantial use of University resources, then the University reserves the right to a 25% share of net revenue generated by the work and the right to use the work for research and teaching purposes. The University will only claim copyright ownership in works which are specifically commissioned by the University or which are created by administrative staff in the course of their employment at the University.

While software is protected legally by copyright, for the purposes of the University’s policies, computer software (excluding instructional applications) is to be considered an invention, and is subsequently covered under the inventions policy rather than the copyright policy.

Inventions Policy

The inventions policy states that the inventor and the University will normally share the rights to an invention, unless a third party, such as a corporate sponsor, is granted rights in a preexisting contractual agreement. An inventor may choose to assume full responsibility for the legal protection and commercialization of the invention. In this case, the University will assign its rights to the inventor in return for 25% of future net revenues. If the inventor does not want to assume the legal and commercialization obligations for the invention, then the University may require the inventor to assign all his/her rights to the University in return for the first $1,000 of, and 25% of subsequent, net revenues. The University will only claim exclusive rights to inventions which are made in the course of activities performed under the explicit direction of faculty or staff, specifically for the purpose of making the invention.

The Inventions policy is not intended to apply to inventions created in the course of demonstrably private research unrelated to the inventor's University functions, or in the course of private consulting activities, when such activities do not involve any substantial use of U of T facilities.

Invention Disclosure

All University researchers have an obligation to disclose the details of their inventions and/or discoveries to the University through the Confidential Invention Disclosure process, which is coordinated by the Intellectual Property Officer at Research Services. Upon disclosure to the Intellectual Property Officer, the University will work with the inventor or the team of inventors to determine the best course of action as per the Inventions policy.