“'We knew that we had a lot of students who were not sharing their innovations on the campus and not starting their companies in the light of day on campus because they were afraid they were going to lose their intellectual property to the university,' (Dan) Hasler (president and chief entrepreneurial officer of Purdue Research Foundation) says. 'They would graduate, move to another state, and start their business. We gained nothing and the student wasn’t able to take advantage of all the help we can offer.'"
"As at many universities, Purdue University’s policy on student IP is broadly stated and enveloped students even if was never intended to, Hasler says. The policy says any invention created with the use of Purdue resources is subject to university ownership. Until recently that was interpreted to include student IP as well, but not because anyone had addressed the matter seriously. As student entrepreneurship has skyrocketed, however, it became a more critical issue to address."
"The school’s new interpretation offers students clear ownership rights as long as the resources used were part of a course and were available to all students in the course; that the student was not paid by the university or a third party; and the class or project was not supported by a corporation or government grant or contract."
"Commercialization efforts can be hampered by any ambiguity in the policy, notes Juan M. Sanchez, PhD, vice president for research at UT (University of Texas). A serious investor in a student’s IP will want to know with certainty that there will be no dispute about ownership, he says. Telling the investor that the university 'usually' doesn’t try to keep the IP simply isn’t good enough."
Student entrepreneurship stirs review, revision of IP ownership policies – Tech Transfer e-News – Tech Transfer Central
With more students becoming entrepreneurs and developing IP before they graduate, universities across the country are taking another look at their policies on ownership of that IP